Referrals are an often overlooked means to growing your business. Here are my top reasons why you need to find the courage and ask for them:
Referrals don’t cost money: Yes, you have to take the time to make the calls or send out the warm letters. Other than that, referrals can an affordable part of your marketing plan.
Six degrees of separation: Or is it six degrees of Kevin Bacon? (I think I am showing my age!) People know other people; people who may not know you. People who might need your services. However, they aren’t always thinking about you, so you need to remind them of what you do and that you are accepting new clients.
Delighted customers are the best sources of new customers: They will make a better pitch for you than you could ever do. I find that even the residential cleaning business, where people will hold on to their beloved cleaner and try to not have anyone know of their best kept secret, you will get referrals. You need to ask your clients.
Snowball effect: A client earned by referral may lead to more referrals.
It is easier to get in the door: When you have been referred to a potential new client, it is much easier to engage them than it is to reach them by cold calling. The person who referred you is lending you their credibility.
Price is sometimes less of an issue: When you have been referred to someone, there is an implication that they know that you can do the job, do it well, and are within the budget already. That usually means there is less negotiation on price.
Your homework: Pick up the phone and start asking for referrals!