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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How to Lay the Groundwork for a Referral-Based Business

Written By: Sydni Craig-Hart | No Comments

How much more profitable would your business be if the majority of your clients came from referrals? How would your life be different?

Would you spend less time on prospecting? Receive more qualified leads? Grow your business faster and easier? There are multiple benefits.

Now, what are you doing each day to create that reality?

Whether or not you enjoy those results depends entirely on you. You can’t just sit back and expect others to refer business to you because you are a really nice person.(Although I’m quite sure you are!) You actually have to take action consistently in order to get the results you want.

Here are six ways that you can create a referral magnet in your business: 

  • Create a “red carpet” experience for your clients – Send a welcome gift to thank them for their new business. Acknowledge special days like business anniversaries. Have a client concierge they can turn to for whatever they need or use a help desk option to ensure that they are taken care of every step of the way. Look for opportunities to wow them and make them feel special.
  • If you make a mistake, own it and fix it – It’s inevitable that you will make a mistake. You’re only human and it happens to the best of us. When it happens, don’t make excuses. Don’t blame. Just fix it. This will speak volumes to your integrity and remind your client that your focus really is to serve their needs.
  • Be a resource – Know what other resources your clients need and have options available for them. For example, I know my clients will at some point need a copywriter, a graphic designer, a virtual assistant and other related services. So I have these professionals on “speed dial” and can easily refer my clients to the support they need.
  • Over deliver at EVERY opportunity – Give a surprise gift or an unexpected bonus. Stay on the phone for an extra 5 minutes to answer their questions. Work to create value for them and truly be of service. You’ll be more memorable, more valuable and worthy of a referral.
  • Explain who your ideal client is and why – Tell them why they are an ideal client for you and what to look for in others. Tell them exactly how to introduce others in their network to your services. When you give them the keys to look for and teach them how to refer your services, it will be easier for them to do so and they’ll be more likely to make referrals.
  • Piggyback on their praise – The best time to ask for a referral is when a client is raving about you. Graciously thank them for the feedback and simply ask, “Who else do you know that is looking for XYZ results.” Striking while the iron is hot is a great way to attract new pre-qualified leads to your business.

When you implement these principles in your business, you’re going to see an influx of referrals coming your way. How do I know? Because it happens in my business, and 19% of my clients over the past 18 months came from referrals.

Deliver the same top quality customer service, extra perks and quality solutions and you’ll see referral after referral coming your way. Here are Six Steps to Creating a Referral-Based Business.

Which of these tips will you implement in your business first? Post your thoughts below. Simply committing your idea to “paper” will inspire you to take action!

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!