The Art of Sharing: How to Make the Most of Business Referrals

March 15th, 2010


You can greatly increase your marketing potential by increasing your number of business contacts. Chances are someone knows someone who can use your products and services.

Make the most of your business referrals and take the guess work out of target marketing.


1. Join a business referral group or your local chamber of commerce. Here you get to meet other business members at meetings and advertise together in common venues.

2. Making referrals a two-way street. Referring business to people who refer you keeps the karma mojo balanced.

3. Following up on referrals right away. When people want something, they usually want it right away and if they can’t get it from you, they’ll find someone else. Contacting potential customers while your name is still fresh in their minds keeps you top of mind. I usually jot down information on their business card immediately after meeting them so I can use that as an ice breaker or reminder of our meeting to jog their memory the next time I contact them.

4. Pitching your sale to anyone who will listen. I used to hate marketing my business because I always felt I was being salesy until someone told me to look at it this way, ‘Marketing is simply telling people what you do over and over again.” I can do that. And so can you. Telling people about your products and services in concise detail allows them to understand the nature of your business and whether they, or someone they know, needs your kind of expertise.

5. Making referrals a priority. Many business owners incorporate the referral process into their marketing plan only when profits are down. The old advice about marketing holds true here: the time to market your business is all the time. Referrals are ‘warm’ leads and are closer to the sale (and the money) than cold calls. Why make it harder on yourself?

6. Knowing your purpose. If you’re clear on what your purpose (and the purpose of your biz) is, you can communicate it cleanly and potential customers will ‘get’ you and the service you offer.

 7. Respecting other people’s time. Who doesn’t like to receive a ‘thank you’ - if someone helps you out with a referral responding quickly with a simple acknowledgement of appreciation will ensure ongoing referrals.





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