4 Ways to Strengthen Referral Relationships in Your Business
Whether you’re a chef, a doctor, a marketer or any other profession in between, building strong referral relationships is essential to expanding your customer base. However, requesting for referrals from your customers sometimes feel awkward, but you also do know that at least one referral from one customer can go a long way for your business.
Fortunately, you don’t have to feel off about asking for referrals explicitly. There are subtle and inconspicuous ways to establish and maintain referral relationships to attract new customers and gain better profits.
1. Connect With Complimentary Business
With this technique, you need to establish relationships with brands and business owners who compliment your own business. For instance, if you’re running a network marketing business that’s focused primarily on health supplements, you can befriend the gym owner. That way, the gym owner can comfortably promote your products to his customers while you can promote the gym to yours. Consider the referral relationship as a two-way street where each party gets into a win-win situation.
2. Help Out
You want to help others not just because it could potentially drive more leads to your business, but just out of goodwill. There are many ways where your assistance can get highly appreciated, say by sharing some expert advice or resource to the other party. And because it is our nature to reciprocate, you can gently say that a referral would be very nice.
3. Get Involved with Your Customers’ Milestones
Another way to be in your customers’ radar is keep them in yours as well. You want to be there when they celebrate a personal, business or professional milestone, whether they’re launching a new business or opening a new store branch. Your customer would feel delighted to see you as they celebrate their moments of success or triumph. Referrals are best done with word-of-mouth, and a customer seeing you being genuinely happy for their success are also likely to put a good word for you to other people.
Another way to ensure that you stay in your customer’s radar, and potentially gain more referrals is to communicate with them on a regular basis. You want to thank them for attending your business event, and then follow it up with a thank you note. You can also send them newsletters which they might be interested with, along with some pertinent industry news. Interact with them online or call them once in a while informing of the arrival of new stocks, for instance.
Getting referrals is nice to have, but it’s also one you can’t fully control. What you can control though is how you interact and communicate with your clients so that they in turn, can say nice things about you to other people. You just want to ensure that you’re offering high-quality products and exceptional services.
Also, it helps to be a social butterfly and attend trade events and industry gatherings so you can meet people who are likely to become your partners and referral sources. You want to be happy, confident and full of positive vibes without being overbearing. You are representing your business anywhere and anyone so be the image you’d want others to see of your business.