Sometimes you have to go back to the basics. Every small business person wants to increase their bottom line and spends much time and money to make this a reality. Often I have to re-introduce the concept of referrals and explain their value.
There is no magic in growing your business through referrals (along with other marketing efforts).
The referral process I recommend is simple.
- Make a list of everyone that you know and who knows you by name. That includes family, friends, business acquaintances, church members, civic organizations, service providers, etc.; you get the message.
- This list should include the following information on each person.
- E-mail address
- Direct telephone number
- Address ( business and home if possible)
- Next divide this list into the following categories:
- The “A” list” : people you are confident that they will help you grow your business
- The “B” list: people you think that they will be willing to help you grow your business.
- The “C” list: people with whom you want to establish a better relationship in the hope that in the future they will help.
- The “D” list: people that are not likely to help you at all.
- Now it’s time to write “your story” to share. Talk about your personal life and business life and how they can best help you grow your business. Be specific about getting a real referral ( they contact the prospect and tell them you will be calling them)
- Start with your “A” list. If possible, make an in person contact with them.
- Share your story and your referral needs and how they can best help you.
- Ask for permission to put them on your monthly e-newsletter list
- Make at least three of these contacts each week.
- Take your “B” and “C” lists and repeat the above procedure. It is always better to ask in person whenever possible. If necessary, send a snail mail letter, or use the phone.
- As you meet new people add them to your lists in their appropriate place and add them to your e-newsletter list.
A simple process that takes a lot of work and which can pay big dividends.
Growing a successful business is not a complicated process if you follow up on the little things.
Nick J. Petra CFP One of the little things is subscribing to www.onebizcentral.com (it’s only $60/year)