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Six Steps to Creating a Referral-Based Business

Written By: Sydni Craig-Hart | No Comments

Doesn’t it feel great to pass along the word about your favorite restaurant or tell someone about a terrific book? You can make it easy for your clients and colleagues to do the same for your services. When you do great work for your clients, they are just as excited to tell others about you.

Creating a referral-based business, where you’re consistently getting leads from your current clients, has multiple benefits. It helps cut down your marketing time and costs, it gives you more opportunities to provide great service and can help you grow your network exponentially.

Here are six PROVEN steps to use to create the type of business that people love to rave about! 

  1. Be worthy of referring – Always do your best! This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. But it does mean that you need to give your very best effort and deliver on what you promise. Under promise and over deliver at every opportunity that you can.
  2. Ask for referrals – Don’t worry if you feel intimidated! Asking your existing and past clients to introduce you to people in their network is a perfectly acceptable way to grow your business. This is simple to do when a client has just commented on the excellent quality of your work.
  3. Educate your audience on how to refer you – It’s easier for your contacts to refer you when they know exactly what you are looking for. Give specific and relatable examples. For example, “I work with small business owners who are struggling to get organized in their workspaces so they can have peace of mind.” Provide terms and problems they should be looking for so they know when to present your services.
  4. Create referral agreements with key “Power Partners” – For example, if you are a professional organizer, reach out to a real-estate agent, an interior designer and a personal chef to create a referral circle. All of you are committed to making sure that your clients have a comfortable, functional home space and lifestyle. And likely, your clients will at one point or another need the services of these professionals and vice versa. Your Power Partners will introduce your services to their clients when they need it – and you’ll do exactly the same for them.
  5. Systemize your efforts – Send out a monthly letter to your referral partners to let them know what’s new in your business. Be sure to promptly follow up on any leads that you receive (within 48 hours). Keep track of your leads and check in regularly with prospects.
  6. Offer a gracious and generous thank you to anyone who refers business to you – Show your appreciation by promptly sending a thank you card and a gift. Whether it’s a gift card, a delivery of flowers or another gift of your choice, make the time and extend the effort to let that person know how much you appreciate their confidence in your services.

By implementing these six steps, you’ll be able to create a solid stream of referrals and create more profits and more freedom in your business!

Your Implementation Plan:

  1. Ask your current clients who else they know who would be a good match for the solutions you offer.
  2. Create a list of qualities, problems and terms that your ideal clients would use so that your referral partners know what to look for.
  3. Make a list of people that you know (or want to be introduced to) who can become your Power Partners. Reach out to them and set up a referral arrangement. Give them your list of things to look for and ask the same of them.
  4. Create a system for connecting with referral partners, following up on leads and referring business to other people.
  5. Send a surprise gift to clients and partners who refer work your way.

By following these simple steps, you can create a process that consistently provides your business with qualified leads.

What was the best referral that you ever received and what did you do to secure it? Share your story in the comments below!

Article written by Sydni Craig-Hart
Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.com. Known for her simple, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find new profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create more money NOW. Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE kit, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!