I’ve started more businesses than I can count and helped countless businesses improve their marketing efforts.
Throughout this time there’s one single constant that has been the difference between growth and stagnation.
Speak to any small business out there and they will tell you that referrals are the lifeblood of their business.
Whether it’s via a blog post comment you wrote 5 years ago that’s sending you a steady stream of traffic or a short post on question answer sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora.
It doesn’t matter….
This traffic source needs to be treated like GOLD
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By exceeding their expectations you are immediately placing yourself in a different category than most small businesses out there.
I client will often ask us to carry out additional work that may add a few hours or minutes to a project. As long as it is related to the original project we often don’t charge for the extra time.
You can also do this in your business. How many times has a client asked for additional jobs or an extension to a project?
Instead of charging for every single minute, offer to do it for free. There’s something about the human makeup that makes them feel like returning the favour. That’s why you ask for a referral at this point.
If there’s one thing that upsets clients more, it’s when companies don’t acknowledge or reply to them on social media and worst still, email.
Connecting with your clients is a MUST if you are looking to receive referrals from them. In fact, you should make it your business to find out exactly how your clients found you in the first place.
Go the Extra Mile for your customers
This is especially relevant in the hospitality or service industry. If your client has a problem that you can solve. Then go out of your way to help them.
If you’re in business with several other small businesses, why not start referring their business?
Do this enough times and I guarantee that they will get wind of what you’re doing and in return will start referring their clients to you.
At XenMedia we probably refer around 10 companies a day. Each of them offers a different product or service we feel our clients could benefit from.
There’s no reason why you can’t start doing the same. In fact, make it part of your day.
Encourage your staff to refer and recommend other businesses in your area or who you deal with on a regular basis.
Probably one of the most underused tactics of getting referrals is sending out an email after you have sold a product or service.
Sending this is out straight away is the very best time to get referrals from your clients. The best thing is, it doesn’t even cost you or your business to do this on a daily basis.
Make it part of your routine and integrate it into a system. After every sale (unless they are regulars), ask them for feedback about your product or service.
If you haven’t got Google Analytics installed on your website, please find the time to install it.
This is a free piece of code supplied by Google that sits in the background of your website and monitors all of the actions your clients take when they visit it.
You can do things like:
— Desmond Dreckett (@DesmondDreckett) 26 September 2017