To get more and better
business leads network with those clients you already
have a relationship with. (Note: some professions are
prohibited from making gifts for referrals.)
Create a referral form.
referral form that is distributed quarterly to the names
on your database is guarenteed to land leads. To help
customers zero in on appropriate prospects, ask
questions that relate to your nitch:"Whom do you know
who's retiring in five years? Who just bought a new
home? Who's launched a business?" Send a thank you note
to everyone who sends you a referral. If you win a large
account, send them a basket of flowers, bottle of wine
or a magazine subscription.
Host a salon.
A salon is a business
mixer for the sole purpose of garnering new business.
Invite your best clients and ask each of them to bring a
friend along. Because it is not easy for customers to
think up prospects names when they don't know your
market, send a list of the type of client you are trying
to target along with the invitation.
Ask during delivery.
No matter what you sell,
your clients are most likely to be enthusiastic at the
point of delivery.(Weylman) This is an excellent time to
leverage yourself. In fact, ask for referrals at any
point in the sale.
Rewards for referrals
that turn into business can range from free estimates,
samples, consultations, coaching sessions to a discount
on future purchases, etc. Just be careful to not give
more than the referral is worth.
Sponsor a contest.
Enter everyone who sends
a referral that coughs up a lead in a drawing. Make the
prize substantial. "Make giving referrals fun," says
Robert Middleton. Examples might range from a meal at an
elegant inn to a mini-vacation or such.
Give leads in return.
This is one of the best
ways to get referrals. But be absolutely sure that the
referrals you give are competent and reliable. Remember
your reputation is on the line. You don't want good
intentions to jeopardize your relationship with your
Pump prospects who've passed up your services.
client/customers feel bad when they have to turn your
business down, so why not make them feel better by
requestin leads. They do not see this as a burden. Just
be sure to acknowledge them when the referrals come in
and especially when they become a customer.
Swap leads with rivals.
If geography or time
restricts your ability to service all your potential
clients, simply pass along jobs you can't handle to
other businesses and ask them to do the same. Giving
these referrals scores you points with potential clients
who may come back to you some day.
Cultivate reciprocal referrals from noncompetitors.
Find out who is compiling
a database of related business and ask to be included.
The opportunities occur in businesses which are somewhat
collateral to your own.
Constantly remind vendors
of your need for referrals. Send out a letter or
brochure which says, "When my business grows, your
business grows." Likely, reason you don't get more
referrals is because you don't ask. So, ASK!