Feb
17

Get More Clients Fast with Referrals

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As a  service provider or coach, you are most likely  looking to grow your business quickly.     Even with all the internet and technology–still, word of mouth from a trusted source is a great way to get new clients.     Think of your dentist, hairdresser, mechanic and other service providers.   How did you find them?    

You can simply ask your satisfied clients and customers to make referrals.   I have always said “My business grows by referral so if you are happy with what you received working with me, I’d  appreciate your referrals.  ”   Here are some  techniques for getting referrals and making them be more powerful in bringing in clients.  

Informal Referrals–How to Ask for them more successfully.  

First of all, many of us are afraid to come out and ask for a  referral.   You might even  be prohibited by doing so if you are a licensed professional in certain fields.   But for most of us, it’s just a fear of rejection or of  ‘tooting your  own horn’).    Here’s a way to make it easier and more comfortable.     

If you ask your client (in the middle or ending of your usual conversation)  it can feel abrupt, forced or pushy.    Doing  this gives off the energy of  a “cold call” (pushy salesmen calling).  

Rather than start them cold,  engage your happy client or customer in a conversation, asking them to say in their own words, what benefits or other value they received from working with you.   When they are emotionally connected to those positive results, and in touch with what they’ve gotten, then you can ask them “Would you be willing to share your results with others in your life   and tell them about working with me?”     It will feel much more natural and spontaneous.

Secondly, if your work is complex, original or not so easy to explain, you can actually coach preople on how to speak about your work, or write out a few suggested guidelines.   Make it easy for people to refer to you.   So for instance a referral like “Go see Ms. X–she’s great!” sometimes works, but when the referral is specific (Ms. X helped me get my office organized for the first time in years) it will be much more effective.   Remember also that when you ask someone to make a referral, let them know  also how you wish  people to contact you: phone, email, visit your site.   

A formal referral program is a reward-based program. Anyone who refers a new customer to you would receive a reward. The reward could be a discount on your services or it could be a freebie. For example, if you’re a writer you might offer anyone who refers new clients to you a free ten-page report or $25 off their next order. A formal referral program requires that people sign up for the program. You might send a monthly newsletter to members to remind or motivate them to refer new clients.

Regardless of the system you choose, referrals work quite well to get more clients fast because they’re coming from a trusted source. If you ask someone where to go to eat and they tell you the name of a restaurant they like, you’re more likely to go there than to an unfamiliar place because it’s been recommended to you. You trust the information.

Affiliates

The second way to get more clients fast is to start an affiliate program. Affiliates are people who agree to promote your services in exchange for a commission. It requires a bit more work than a referral program; however, it can be extremely effective. Affiliates market your business for you and they drive traffic to your website. For every new client, they earn a paycheck. It’s a good system. To help them succeed you may provide them with marketing content, advertisements and other information to use on their website.

Partnerships

The third and final way to get more clients fast is to forge a partnership with other complimentary businesses. For example, if you’re a writer you might partner with a website designer. Their clients will need content for their website and your clients may need a website redesign. It’s a win-win situation.

To get more clients fast, take advantage of your current assets. What partnerships can you forge, and what clients can you ask for referrals and recommendations?

Categories : Online Business

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