Growing your small business is bloody hard work and it takes a lot of effort, time, money and tears to get through the early stages of business life.
Whilst I always feel as though I was lucky by starting a business so young and not being weighed down by having to bring home enough money to pay a mortgage, support my family or pay off debts – I nevertheless feel as though some days, I would have preferred to sleep through the entire work day.
Being passionate about business is not enough and as we become more mature in our business dealings, we often realise that it can be our biggest downfall. Why? Because if you get caught up in the passionate and can’t see clearly what the realities are, you can sometimes miss some fairly important decisions that have to be made.
Years ago, a businessman that I admire immensely said that “I was a good networker”. Believe it or not, I was embarrassed by that term and did not take it as a complement. To me, at that time in my life, I saw the word “networker” as being someone who tries to sell to everyone they meet and only meets people that can help them. I obviously thought too much and this is not the case at all. Being a good networker means that you can bring different parties together for mutual benefit and that you take time out to meet new people.
“Referral Marketing” is accelerated by “networking” and is something that doesn’t cost a cent, but can help take your business to a whole new level.
Ways to Build Your Referral Business
- Set a target and give it a timeline: Setting a KPI around what you are trying to achieve with referral marketing is imperative. Do you want referral marketing to account for 5% of your business, or perhaps 20%? Work out what you are trying to achieve and in what time frame.
- Look past just your customers being referral candidates and focus also on staff, suppliers and friends.
- Give and You’ll Receive: Give your clients extra service and follow-up support before asking for referrals. When you give willingly to your customers, they will return the favour.
- Form alliances with like minded businesses and ask them to refer clients to your business and vice-versa.
- Thank-You: Make sure you thank the person referring you the client. With a gift or just with a card to let them know how much you appreciate it.
These tips are simple but when executed on a regular basis they can drive your referral business and build sales revenue. Start today and watch your referrals grow.
Why not check out Marketing Eye’s website to find out ways in which you can better market your business. Marketing Eye is Australia’s leading marketing consultancy firm for small businesses. www.marketingeye.com.au
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