Last week I posted a video blog featuring Referral Institute Trainer Cheryl Hansen talking about the opportunity to significantly increase the number of referrals you receive by developing more than just one of the eight referral sources. The fact is, the more you learn about each referral source, the more referral sources you will develop; the more referral sources you develop, the more referrals you will get and the more your business will grow!
Since last week’s video blog, I have received requests via social media to explain each of the eight sources in a little bit more detail, so today I am posting a brief description of the first four sources below and (for the sake of space) next week I’ll post information about the last four sources.
The Eight Referral Sources: Sources #1 — #4
- People in Your Contact Sphere
A group of businesses/professions that complement, rather than compete with, your business. A Contact Sphere can be a steady source of leads. It’s almost a sure thing: if you put a caterer, a florist, an entertainer, a printer, a meeting planner, and a photographer in the same room for an hour, you couldn’t stop them from doing business. Each has clients who can benefit from the services of the others. This is why a wedding often turns out to be, on the side, a business networking and referral-gathering activity.
- Satisfied Clients
One of your best referral sources is satisfied clients. Having firsthand experience with your products or services, they are true believers and can communicate convincing testimonials. Keep track of these clients; they are your fans, your best promoters, and they can be very effective in helping others decide to do business with you. Of course, a dissatisfied client is equally effective in turning prospects away from you.
- People Whose Business Benefits from Yours
Of the eight kinds of people in your referral network, none stand to gain more than those who get more business when you get more business: business suppliers and vendors, for example. If you sell workbooks, the printer who prints them for you benefits. A related business located close to you may benefit from your customers–for example, a health-food restaurant located next to your family fitness center. In these circumstances, it is obviously in the other businesses’ self-interest to give you referrals.
- Others with Whom You Do Business
Perhaps your business doesn’t have anything to do with dentistry or hairstyling or automobiles, but every day you do business with dentists, hairstylists, and auto mechanics. By contributing to the success of their business, you will gain their goodwill; to keep you as a customer, they’re inclined to help you secure customers of your own. If you’ve been using their services for some time, these vendors probably know what you do and that you’re a reliable, trustworthy person. Sometimes this is all the recommendation a potential client needs.
Now that you know more about the first four referral sources, why not start developing them now? Reach out and connect with one person from at least two (or all four if you’re really motivated!) of these different referral sources this week and be sure to come back next week to learn about the last four of the eight referral sources.