Have you stopped to take the time to identify your best referral sources? Who (or what) sends you qualified prospects? I was meeting with my favorite networking group, and my colleague said he could trace back most of the clients he worked with over the past year to two people.
I said I hope you’re sending them an expensive holiday gift.
Than got me thinking about who my best sources were over the past year or two. Former clients generally referred a colleague or their partner, but my most consistent referral source is something from years ago.
Carol did an interview with me when she was writing for entrepreneur.com years ago. I don’t know what they did with the SEO on their side, but it continues to send me great people, several of whom convert to clients. The article was about entrepreneurs transitioning to corporate jobs. Apparently, this is something people search for regularly.
After they read the interview, they frequently download a copy of my eBook. I caught a really lucky break that entrepreneur.com didn’t edit this link out. While my eBook is free, people do have to give a valid email address, and that gets them into an email autoresponder series.
The completion rate for online products is abysmal. I have a series queued up that includes helpful content and a reminder to read the book. It also has a link to schedule time for a conversation with me. I have met with people all over the world! Some people get all they need from our strategy session, and some people hire me to help them with their job search.
This is a great way to get business, but it’s not under my control. I could do some paid promotion of the article, or create some content around that topic, I suppose.
I will specifically go back through all the people I worked with this year and see if there are sources who referred multiple people. I will personally reach out to them and thank them, or send them something nice if that feels right.
As you go through this exercise, think about people who in the past referred people, especially if they didn’t do so this year. Was there a reason? Do you need to warm up this relationship?
Are there any natural connectors – the people who seem to know everyone – in your network? There probably are. These are potential gold mines for you. Schedule a conversation with them, if you know them well. Please don’t forget to offer your assistance with anything they are working on. You may know some people who would be a great fit for whatever they are doing. I have sent candidates for jobs, resources to solve business problems, or prospective clients to my referral sources.
The phrase “give to get” is trite, but also true much of the time.
Maybe you can make this the season of giving (and getting) referrals? That might be exactly what you wanted, and just the right fit for your business.