Businesses thrive on being top-of-mind when a referral opportunity arises – but how do you maintain a high profile across your network without it occupying too much of your time.
The trick is to pinpoint your potential referral champions and then, without prompting, do a couple of things they’ll appreciate.
Some easy ways to do this:
- Thank them
Sending out a hand written 'thank you' card is a quick, cheap and potentially a hugely profitable way to spend the next 3 minutes in the office.
- Give them a favourable Google review (if appropriate).
Don’t mention it until they do, and then email them this guide if they’re happy to reciprocate.
- Refer them
Actively refer your clients to people within your network. Those who refer, get referrals.
- Invite them to an event
This might be to a local networking group, chamber of commerce or industry related event. If they take up your offer, great; if they don’t, they’ll still feel more positive towards you anyway. People like to be invited.
- Connect your network
Your database will be full of businesses that would benefit from working together, exchanging referrals, opportunities and ideas. Consider doing this: every month invite a small group to a working lunch. Set the agenda, discuss business opportunities, try to solve problems, and discuss the benefits of a group referral programme. Be known as a connector.
- Solve problems
Set up a simple email network where people help each other out. Send a monthly email that prompts people to pose questions if they need something; for example, ‘does anyone know of a local accountant with overseas branch accounting experience?’ People love to give advice.
The more contacts you have that like you and trust you and understand what you do, the more you will be top of mind when a referral opportunity arises. Test out some of these simple suggestions and you’ll be surprised by the new business opportunities that result.