Modern marketing is like a maze and it needs to be worked out, or you go around in circles!
Getting more work from current clients is a lovely way to get work. It gives you an inner glow. Referrals make sense, for established businesses and especially for new start ups.
Referrals are a great way part of marketing and they cost nothing. Yet when most new or established business owners are asked what they do to guarantee that they receive a steady stream of referrals, they are hard pressed to give an answer. What is your view on this aspect of marketing?
Asking your clients for referrals or ‘referral marketing’ is the most powerful, cost effective and targeted business development you can do. The single most important factor is that you must first expect referrals. If you are not receiving referrals from every one of your clients, then consider implementing this one simple piece of business development from today. Here are 10 tips:
10 tips to ask for referrals with ease
1. Think of your clients as a friend who you have not seen for a while. This attitude will ensure your body language is always positive, warm, friendly and trusting.
2. Ask your clients open questions to help you to understand them, their needs and build rapport. E.g. How’s life? How’s work?
3. When you speak with your clients, pick up nuggets of information about their professional and personal lives that will create opportunities for you and your colleagues
4. Keep notes on your clients; their partner’s name, interests, where and when they are going on holiday, attitude to topical topics e.g. the Olympics etc. so that you have continuity when you get in touch and a link from last time you spoke
5. Identify any limiting beliefs you have about asking for referrals e.g. ‘it is pushy’ or ‘if I was any good they would offer to’ and shift them
6. Plan a regular slot in your diary and specific location to do this task
7. Craft your own way of asking for referrals that feels comfortable e.g. via e mail
8. Remember that if you have done a good job, your clients will feel positively predisposed to help you
9. Make it easy for your clients to refer to you, be specific in what client and what kind of project/brief you are focusing on
10. Offer to craft an introductory e mail to save your client time introducing you
What would your tips be from your own experience? Any examples of when you overcame any fears and got a fantastic bit of business simply from asking for a referral?
Getting more business from current clients makes sense, even more so in a downturn.
Next week – 10 more tips to get referrals with ease.
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