Five Ways to Increase Your Referrals Without Bugging Everyone You Know

No one likes to feel like they are bothering their current clients for more referrals, and yet the best way to get business is to increase referrals. So how do you get more referrals without “bugging” your current clients? Here are five ways:

1. Clone your referral sources

Cloning was discovered last century; it’s about time we use it in business. You won’t need a chemistry degree to identify your top referral sources; simply do a little spreadsheet magic and lay it out on paper. Then take a look at your top referrers: what’s their title or position within your community of clients? Can you find more people like them?

As an example, let’s say one of your client’s lawyer is your top referral source. Wouldn’t it make sense to ask each of your clients if you could get the name of their lawyer and get to know them?

2. Give before receiving.

This one’s probably in that book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” If you want more referrals, give them to the clients and partners you want to notice you. Nothing gets you noticed better than to send a nice chunk of business someone’s way.

How do you find people to refer? Have a broader agenda at the next networking meeting you attend and have your referral partners and sources in mind as you collect cards and needs. Pretty soon, you’ll have plenty of favors you can give to others.

3. Create a referral program.

Could it be that your clients don’t know you need referrals? If you’re always busy, running ragged, or taking a few weeks to deliver their services, they may think you’re too busy.

Send out a notice letting clients and partners know exactly what type of client you’re looking for. The more specific, the more likely the client will think of someone who matches that description. Let clients know what’s in it for them. Do they get free services or a gift if they send you five referrals?

4. Set up an affiliate program.

If your margins, licenses, and industry allow it, offer a commission to people who successfully send you clients. In this way, you can create an entire army of commission-only, part-time salespeople on your team, selling your stuff.

You will need a tracking system as well as some back office management. Consider 1ShoppingCart, InfusionSoft, or ClickBank to do the heavy lifting for you.

5. Spread gratitude.

Keep in touch with your clients frequently. Send them thank you notes, birthday cards, great tips, and tiny notes of interest to them. You can even call them or take them to lunch occasionally if they are local.

When you are grateful for the business you have and can express that to clients, they will remember and enjoy returning the favor. You’re more likely to get referrals when you are a positive, generous, and caring individual.

Try these five ideas to boost the number of referrals you receive in your business.

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