Referrals are one of the most effective ways to grow your business. Whether you are a mom and pop shop or a Fortune 500 company, a boost in referrals can mean a significant boost in revenue. Despite the fact that the majority of business owners cite referrals as their number one source of revenue, most admitted they had no idea how to make their business more referable.
Below are 5 actionable tips you can use to help increase your referability.
1. Provide Exceptional Service
Word of mouth is earned by providing your clients an unforgettable experience. Providing average or run-of-the-mill service doesn’t cut it in the 21st century. Every time you step into a meeting, whether it is in person or over the phone, take the opportunity to impress. Having a great attitude, going the extra mile and providing a positive user experience will ensure you are top of mind when it comes to referability.
2. Know your clients goals
Along with being remarkable, referable companies understand the goals and struggles of their clients. When working with a new or existing client, remember to take a step back and see things from their point of view. Not only will this give you a better perspective, it will make you stand out from crowd. And when it comes to referability, standing out from the crowd is a good thing. By looking at the “big picture” you can foster strong, long-lasting business relationships. And the stronger your relationships, the more likely you are to be referable.
3. Send a follow up email
Sending a follow-up email after a meeting may seem like common sense. However, you would be surprised at the number of people who fail to complete this crucial step. A follow up email serves two purposes. First, it ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding negotiations, terms or project details. Second, it serves as a marketing piece for you and your business. A summary email shows that you listened and cared about the what the other person had to say. Showing that you care is a huge step in gaining trust, which ultimately leads to referrals. Along with a follow up email, thank you cards can be a great way to follow-up.
4. Be on time
Don’t be late. It’s the cardinal rule of any business meeting, yet many people treat it as nothing more than a suggestion. This gives you an amazing opportunity to stand out above the crowd. Being considerate of someone else’s time not only shows that you have respect for the person, but for what that person has to say as well. And if for some reason you are going to be late, contact the other person and let them know as soon as possible. As long as it isn’t a recurring problem, most will understand. Not contacting the other person, however, is a surefire way to ruin any chance of getting a referral.
5. Be easily accessible
All of these tips will be for naught if you or your company is not easily accessible. If someone is going to refer you, they are likely going to do so by emailing colleagues links to your website, store or blog. Do you have a page on your website that describes your business in a clear and succinct manner? If not, you are doing your company a disservice. For an offline approach, handing out customized 3-in-1 pens can be a great way to keep your company top of mind.
Even as the technological landscape of business continues to evolve, referrals and word of mouth marketing will remain as one of the most cost effective, efficient ways to grow your company.
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