5 Simple Steps to Generate More Referrals
What’s your goal for revenue growth in 2014? Where is this increase coming from?
We all want to generate more revenue. I’ve yet to meet the businessperson who isn’t interested in doing so. Over the past couple of months, you’ve likely set a goal for the year, a very precise number which you and your business aim to reach. That’s a great start. If you haven’t done so, we highly recommend that you do!
Again, we ask, where is this revenue growth coming from? In the ideal world, most of it will come from two sources: repeat business with current clients, and referrals. Both save you time, energy and money over other ways of attracting new business. They’re votes of confidence, satisfaction and trust from those who you’ve already worked with or know. They’re signs of success and growth. Repeat business is golden (and we will discuss this process in our next newsletter). For now, let’s focus on revenue growth from referrals.
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1.) Set Goals
It’s great and crucial to have an overall revenue goal for the year. Don’t stop there however. Break it down further and lay out where you anticipate this money coming from. How much of total revenue should come from referrals? Having a specific goal to shoot for will help you prioritize your time efficiently and stay focused.
2.) Focus on Your Clients
Word of mouth is everything. Your current clients are the frontline of all your marketing efforts. They recognize your value, they know how you work, and they understand who you can help and how you can help them. They are the best at communicating this to others. Ideally, they should be the primary source of referrals for your business. Of course, this is only true if they are satisfied with the services you give them. Providing your current clients value and keeping them happy should always be your number one priority.
While this is a simple step, its importance cannot be overstated. When you start working with new clients, do you clearly communicate that you expect them to send you referrals if they are satisfied with your services? It’s on you to inform your friends, family, colleagues and clients to send referrals your way. It’s better to ask than to assume.
4.) Educate Your Network
While clients have a clear idea of your value and how it relates to others, your friends, family and colleagues may not share the same level of understanding. Again, it’s your job to coach and train them to be your frontline sales team.
Some important things to highlight are: what services you offer; how you work with clients; what differentiates you from your competitors; what types of people and companies you work with; what types of situations could be relevant for you and you’d like your network to look out for. If your business entails sales or the provision of services, what types of customers/clients are you looking for? For example, a financial advisor might inform his or her network that good referrals could be newly married couples and/or couples who have just had a baby. What should your referral network be listening and looking out for?
Never assume you can’t do business with someone. Because of that, it’s important to educate and seek referrals from as many people as you can. However, time is money and you have to make tough decisions about how you spend your time. Some in your network should get more of your attention and focus than others. Identify those who are influential and well connected. Highlight individuals who display genuine interest in your business and have shown a willingness to help you out. Focus your primary efforts here, and take time developing them into strong referral sources.
What’s your revenue goal for the year? To reach this number, do you need to increase the number of prospects going into your pipeline? Contact us if you want to talk about your goals and how best to achieve them.