Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hope is Not a Referral Strategy

Last week, I spoke with Julie, who runs a professional service business with 3 employees.

She called me because she wanted to build her business, but didn't know what to do.

I asked, "How do you get most of your new clients now?"

"That's easy," she replied. "Referrals. Almost all of our new clients hear about us from previous clients."

"What are you doing to promote referrals? Do you have a program in place? Do you reward people for sending new clients to you?" I asked. "It's easy to do -- you can offer a cash reward, a discount, or a gift card to anyone who sends you a new client. I've never seen a rewards system fail to work."

"No, I prefer to let referrals happen naturally. I know we provide a good service and I don't want to get into incentivizing people to recommend us," she said.

So let's sum up Julie's situation:
  • She wants to grow revenue in her business.
  • She knows that referrals are her #1 source of new revenue.
  • But she's unwilling to stimulate referrals by rewarding them systematically.
Instead, Julie would rather hope for referrals.

Hope is not a strategy.

Look: It's not your clients' job to remember what business you're in or to send you new business. You have to remind clients, train them how to refer, and reward them for making good referrals.

Your clients are not too stupid to refer others or too greedy to do it regularly without a reward.

Your clients are simply busy and self-interested -- just like you.

Recognize this reality, and you can quickly appreciate the need for a referral rewards system. Then get busy creating one.

(More ideas like these in the Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)

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