Tell a friend, who will tell a friend

January 19, 2011

An age old challenge for all businesses is to keep what they have, attract who they want to attract and do it all without losing the farm.

What is the one element that many businesses do not seem to take advantage of, or worse, not even notice? Referrals from customers who love your work ethics, your product, your service and your staff – you know what I am talking about!

Getting that steady stream of referrals is the ultimate dream of any business – especially if they are your desired customers.

How do you start the dream machine producing? Identify your customers who are champions of your business – love your products, service, etc. Also identify those customers who are already referring qualified customers your way.

Also develop and determine strategic partnerships – for example, one of our BBB Accredited Business in the outside sprinkler business partnered with a company that does inside sprinkler work – what a referral network they must be developing! You easily become champions of each others work ethic, products, services etc.

You also have to ensure that your referral network is handing you the customer you want – you need to educate your referral network as to who is your desired customer. For example, a renovations company has determined their focus is primarily on projects related to the multi unit residential buildings. They want to attract rental property owners, property management companies and strata corporations. Single family homes would not be the customer they would want referrals.

Find out as much as you can from your referral network what type of customers they are looking for so you can reciprocate.

How do you keep your referral network motivated to continually send you qualified customers? Get creative. A landscaping company could offer a gardener for the day as a reward for a great qualified referral. It does not always have to money.

Make sure you always thank your referral champions and recognize them on an ongoing basis.

And you didn’t bet the farm!