Most small business owners miss the boat when
it comes to getting a constant flow of referrals
because they start off looking in all the wrong places.
If they seek referrals at all, most small business
owners think only of their clients. Now, your existing
clients can be a good source of referrals. And when
you think about it, who better to sing your praises
than someone who has actually experienced your
The problem though is that your existing clients
don’t have much motivation. They might consider
sending a client or two your way, but they likely
won’t think of you day in and day out. And, that’s
what your referral marketing effort really needs.
When it comes to figuring out a referral marketing
system, the number one question you need to answer
is this. Who is, or can be convinced to be, highly
motivated to refer business to me.
When you look at it from that point of view you begin
to realize that no matter who you approach you better
be able to propose a motivation that has something
in it for them.
In most cases, the best referral sources, those that
can be motivated, are businesses like yours that sell
to the same target market. These non-competing
businesses should be looked at courted like one of
your primary target market sectors.
You marketing efforts should include very specific
plans to attract, educate and motivate this target
market. . .just as it would for the end user of your
product or service.
The payoff with this kind of thinking is two-fold. I
believe that almost any prospect that comes your
way by way of a referral will generally be more
qualified and likely a better fit. In addition, a highly
targeted marketing effort pointed at referral sources
can be one of the best ways to leverage your limited
time and marketing dollars.
Properly marketed to, a good referral marketing
partner could potentially send you handfuls of clients
for about the same effort most businesses expend to
land one self-generated client.
There can be many ways to motivate this type of
referral lead source. You likely have something they
want or can at least propose a way for them to get
more of what they want. I’m afraid it’s hard to say
the same for your clients.
One of the best way to put this thinking on steroids
is to think in terms of building your very own strategic
referral partnership network. Try to fill every need
your clients have by plugging in and referring members
of your private network. If you do this, you will never
need to search for business again.
This approach to referral marketing and the tools and
tactics to put it into motion are fully detailed in Referral
Flood â€“ How to Create a Flood of New Business Without
Spending One Dime On Advertising. If you want to
uncover the insiderâ€™s roadmap to generating referrals,
this is the place.