How referrers can help you predict the future
Referrers defined – To direct to a source for help or information.
For Small Business to have a consistent rate of ongoing success, one thing it needs is to have a wide community of supporters.
What is a community of supporters?
- Regular customers
- Clients doing ongoing business with you
- People who send new customers to you
- People who actively look to support your business by recommendations
- People who communicate on your social media
- Relationships you have with other business owners
- People you meet at networking events
- Your neighbours
- Your neighbouring businesses
- Your competitors
How do you build this community?
If you are a retail store these supporters come into your store, shop in your online store and communicate via social media. If you are a service business these supporters will communicate via social media, suggest to their friends and family to use you.
By providing a high level of customer service and exceeding their expectations, you are likely to create your community of supporters easily. As part of your customer service, you can also ask people to tell others about their experience.
Written testimonials are one thing, but a verbal referrer will carry so much more weight as that person has taken the time to tell someone about your business.
Social Media – Facebook is still number one
This is one of the best ways I know of both getting and giving referrals. Almost every day of the week someone is posting online and asking if someone knows someone who can help them in some way. (Website, logo, designers, builders, plumbers, gifts, flowers and more)
Going along to networking events can be scary and you often go with the expectation of being able to instantly meet people and generate business. While this sometimes does happen, networking is so much more than one-off meet and greets. It is about building relationships – If you go along to your next networking function with the main goal of building new friendships you will do far better and your success rate will be much higher.
It can be tricky to find a group that suits you so keep trying and don’t give up until you find your kind of people.
People you know
This is the easiest way to get referrals but it can also be tricky as even people who know you may be hesitant about referring your business as they may worry if something goes wrong. They can also be a bad referral as they may expect you to do work for low or no cost. They may take longer to pay you if at all. Remember that if you give away your service/product people will always expect it for free.
What is a referral?
Referral defined – an act of referring someone or something for consultation, review, or further action.
Giving a good referral
This all starts with understanding what a business does. If you meet or know another business owner, ask them about their business, sit down for coffee and get an understanding of how they operate. Once you know the type of clients they are looking for, it is easier to refer to them.
Getting a good referral
This all starts with the people you know understanding your business and understand what you do for your clients. When you are speaking about your business, ensure that you are clear and conscience in what you offer and what your ideal client looks like. Tell people the best way to refer people to you – email, phone etc.
Back to the title of this blog – How referrers can help you predict the future.
Without any referrers as part of your ongoing marketing strategy, your business will struggle to survive. To be clear though you do need other ways of gaining business, don’t just put all your eggs in one basket and hope for the best. You must have a great mobile responsive website, SEO of that website, relevant social media accounts, shop or vehicle signage, quality business cards and relevant marketing material. Your sales technique must be polished, your pricing strategy up to date and much more. Contact Kelly at My Sassy Business for help in all these areas.
So, in conclusion, to grow your business with referrers and predict the future, you need:
- A community of supporters
- Awesome customer service
- Social Media success
- Networking plan
- People you know
- Keep giving lots of referrals and they will come back to you
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