Many books have been writing on the topic of referrals, this will simply be a summary of some tips that can help you get started and considerations to think about.
Why are referrals important? Here are just a few reasons. Referrals shorten the time required to establish trust between you and your prospect. The person giving you the referral in essence transfers some of their credibility to you when referring someone to you. They can help you reduce your marketing expenses. Unlike advertising, referrals do not cost you money and they deliver far better results than advertising.
How to get referrals
Let them know from the start that much of your business comes from referrals which establishes a level of expectation. You must do a good job for your customer, ideally exceeding their expectations.
Have a clear picture in mind of who you want to be referred to. How would you describe them in terms of their profession, age, interests, location, income level and any other relevant parameters?
Ask for referrals as soon as you have completed a project for your client to their satisfaction.s
Be specific in terms of who you are asking to be referred to. Rather than simply saying “Do you know anyone you can refer me to?”, first ask if they would have any problem referring you to any of their family, friends or associates for whom your product might be a fit. Second, ask about who they know within specific contexts such as their best friend at work, who else serves on volunteer committees with them, who is in their golf foursome and so forth.
After Receiving a Referral
It goes without saying that you need to thank the person giving you a referral as soon as they give it to you. Next you want to keep them involved as to what happens when you contact the person they referred to you.
Also, contact the person they have referred to you as soon as possible after you get the referral. There may be circumstances unknown to you that make this a particularly good time for them to use your service.
Keep track of how much business you get from referrals so you can compare these results with your other forms of marketing.
Give referrals to the others as you are able and improve your skills in terms of giving referrals. When you give someone a referral, particularly when it turns into business for them, they will be more inclined to more the effort to identify prospects they can refer to you.
If you have methods of getting referrals that have been effective would you mind sharing them with the rest of us?