Fri 24 Apr 2009
Business referrals are a small business owner's lifeblood. So much has been written and read about referrals, but for a small business owner with a lot of tasks on hand, cultivating client referrals can seem like an endless task.
How do you get referral business opportunities? When you do good work for a client, thank them for choosing you, and let them know that client referrals are welcome and appreciated.
The following is a list of five other great ways to get client referrals:
Do great work.
By far the best way to get great business referrals is to do great work. People are proud of themselves when they find businesses that provide them with above-average service and products, and they want to tell others of their good fortune (and their good business sense).
Do great work, and your clients and customers will be the best marketing tools you could ever ask for.
Build a mailing list.
A mailing list of all your client referrals can be a powerful tool in your promotional efforts. Because they are already pre-sold on you and your business, your referrals will generally welcome hearing from you on an ongoing basis.
Your clients can also opt into and out of your mailing list easily and with the barest minimum of muss or fuss.
Keep your mailing list informed.
Many small business owners have discovered the value of keeping their business referrals up-to-date with the latest news about their products and services.
Not only do past and present clients enjoy reading such stories, but they also really enjoy reading about themselves. Make a point of playing up customer success stories as much as possible.
Always send a thank-you note.
People appreciate it when you take the time to thank them for sending you a referral for business. Whenever a new customer is referred to you, make a point of immediately sending a handwritten thank you note to the referrer.
It's far better to take the time to personalize your thank-you note than to just dash off a quick e-mail. Depending on the nature of your business, you can also send a small gift or a certificate good for a discount on your client's next purchase.
Make referrals yourself.
As your business grows, you'll soon find that people come to you seeking referrals. Pick out several high-quality and trusted companies to use for referrals, and be sure to let their owners know when you have sent a client their way.
Not only will your clients be thankful for the business referral, but the companies to which you make referrals will also be more likely to make client referrals to you.