How many people refer business to you?
Referrers defined – To direct to a source for help or information.
For small businesses to have a consistent rate of ongoing success, they need to have a vast community of supporters.
What is a community of supporters?
- Regular customers
- Clients doing ongoing business with you
- People who send new customers to you
- People who actively look to support your business by recommendations
- People who communicate on your social media
- Relationships you have with other business owners
- People you meet at networking events
- Your neighbours, friends and family
- Your neighbouring businesses
- Your competitors
How do you build this community?
If you are a retail store, these supporters come into your store, shop in your online store and communicate via social media. If you are a service business, these supporters will share via social media and suggest that they use you to their friends and family.
Are you regularly attending networking events to grow your community? This can be an excellent way to expand your reach and work with other complimentary businesses.
By providing a high level of customer service and exceeding their expectations, you are likely to create your community of supporters easily. As part of your customer service, you can also ask people to tell others about their experiences doing business with you.
Written testimonials are one thing, but a verbal referrer will carry much more weight as that person has taken the time to tell someone about your business.
Social Media – Facebook is still number one.
This is one of the best ways I know of getting and giving referrals. Facebook groups can be a goldmine of referrals.
Almost every day of the week, someone posts online and asks if anyone knows someone who can help them in some way. (Website, logo, designers, builders, plumbers, gifts, flowers and more)
Going along to networking events can be scary, and you often go with the expectation of being able to meet people and generate business instantly.
While this sometimes happens, networking is much more than one-off meet and greets.
It is about building relationships – If you go to your next networking function with the primary goal of creating new friendships, you will do far better, and your success rate will be much higher.
Remember – finding a group that suits you can be tricky, so keep trying and don’t give up until you find your kind of people.
People you know
This is the easiest way to get referrals, but it can also be tricky as even people who know you may be hesitant about referring your business as they may worry if something goes wrong.
They can also be a bad referral as they may expect you to do work for low or no cost. ‘mates rates’
They may take longer to pay you, if at all. Remember that if you give away your service/product, people will always expect it for free.
What is a referral?
Referral defined – an act of referring someone or something for consultation, review, or further action.
Giving a good referral
This all starts with understanding what a business does.
If you meet or know another business owner, ask them about their business, sit down for coffee, and understand how they operate.
Once you know the type of clients they are looking for, it is much easier to refer to them.
Getting a good referral
This all starts with the people you know understanding your business, and they understand what you do for your clients.
When speaking about your business, ensure that you are clear and conscience in what you offer and what your ideal client looks like.
Remember to let everyone know the best way to refer people to you – email, phone etc.
Back to the title of this blog – How referrers can help you predict the future.
Your business may struggle without any referrers as part of your ongoing marketing strategy. If you have a steady flow of referrals, this can enhance future outcomes for your business.
To be clear, you do need other ways of gaining business, don’t just put all your eggs in one basket and hope for the best.
Your sales technique must be polished, your pricing strategy up to date and much more.
So, in conclusion, to grow your business with referrers and predict the future, you need:
- A community of supporters
- Awesome customer service
- Social media success
- Networking plan
- People you know
- Keep giving lots of referrals, and they will come back to you.