Many of the Biz Diva’s clients and workshop attendees are consulting firms, marketing companies, professional partnerships, etc. One of the things these all have in common? They get their best clients from referrals. This is because they are industries where trust is the largest factor in generating a lead, and if someone you trust refers you, you get painted with the same brush.
You can set up an incentive program, you can ask for referrals, you can network—those are all helpful—but there are smaller and more natural ways of inspiring referrals.
1) Refer them. This is one of the Biz Diva’s most powerful practices. She keeps the people she counsels, teaches, mentors, and meets in the “refer” file of her mind. She checks them out, talks to other people who’ve worked with them, and, once they have passed the Biz Diva Referrability Test, she goes to work. A meeting with Cynthia includes at least three contacts or leads, of people she knows personally. As a trust agent, we who are the recipients of her referrals are grateful for her advice.
2) Talk about them. On your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, mention your clients and link to their website. If you are giving a presentation, and one of your clients has hit one out of the park, talk them up. When you introduce them to someone, use some powerful—and true—adjectives: “This is Carissa Jones. She makes the most delicious cupcakes—and she has this wonderful system where you can quickly and easily order them online as a client gift. My clients love them!” You can bet Carissa Jones thought of the Biz Diva when her friend says she needs some help getting her business back on track.
3) Do what you say you will. Who will know if I’m late for this one meeting? What difference will it make if I blow off this event? And I have a really good excuse for why I didn’t send that article out I promised. Yes, yes, yes. But no. I know of a copywriter who does wonderful work, and I’d love to refer him to more contacts, but he’s blown off two of my referrals, which made them grumpy, feel less than important, and reflected on me. Don’t commit unless you can deliver.
These tactics don’t get instant results. Instead, they are a cultural shift. But if you start doing them now, I guarantee you’ll see a real upswing in your referral clients within a month—or your money back. J
This post was written by Virginia Reuter of Ardentio for the Biz Diva.