Every business owner knows that referrals are the key to success for every successful business. It is one of the main marketing aspects to focus on if you want consistent and long lasting growth. Simply put, every customer wants to do business with a person/business they already know and have experience with, rather than with strangers.
Whenever you are introduced to a new client through a personal recommendation from another client, that person already has a high level of comfort towards your business. Essentially, it all comes down to the simple concept of trust between people. So how can you get more business referrals from already established clients, and how can you expand your customer base?
1. Change your approach
Business, in essence, is an intricate, infinite web of relationships built over time between different individuals. Every person in that web has the ability to connect and create a different relationship with any other person. Also, many of those relationships already exist between multiple people, such as clients or competitors. Your job is to establish contact with them. The key is not feeling sheepish about asking contact details that will help you connect with multiple people. In fact, there's nothing pushy or inappropriate about this. Most people will respond positively and some will even be delighted to know more about your business. Keep in mind that a business is a two way street and must be beneficial to both parties.
2. Make it a habit of asking for referrals
There are successful businessmen who built multi-million dollar businesses all with the help of referrals. How did they do it? Simple, they created a strict schedule when it comes to asking for referrals, and they stuck to it. You can start by setting yourself a quota of asking for referrals at least three clients per week. For instance, when you start working for a client, simply tell them “If I do a great job and you are pleased, you agree to give me two referrals”. It won't sound intrusive, but rather assertive and confident. You will also look a lot more confident in your skills and most clients will appreciate this. Similarly, another great thing to say is “I'm so happy you're pleased about my work, do you know anyone who might need my skills?”
3. Use every opportunity to promote your services or business
Client meetings or casual gatherings are ideal places to promote your business to other potential clients. Simply ask any guest about possible work opportunities and make sure to keep yourself social and active. A good idea is to plan what you might say beforehand, so you won't come off as pushy. Keep in mind that networking opportunities are everywhere and this is the most important aspect for every successful business.
4. Be a social magnet and create a network hub
After you get plenty of connections, referrals and clients, people will start to know you. This will help you tremendously and you will act as an important person during meetings. You will be able to introduce clients to other clients or associates and create friendships, further expanding your customer base.