While descending into the shoes of an entrepreneur, the most arduous challenge you face is to fuel up your client list. Whether you are running an organization or a private business, client referral is imperative to grow your business. Yes, it can be pretty daunting and demanding to find professionals who refer you to the clients but with a few smart and practical steps, you can build an influential client referral network to organize your business.
Any business or private practice is immensely reliant on human connections to prosper. This is the reason why building a network of referrals is a priority when it comes to strategizing your growth plan. You can leverage your connections to fill up your client list. Keep your client load full by being connected to at least one or two professionals who recommend clients to work with you.
If you haven’t yet, you can start building your client referral network from scratch with these twenty straightforward ways to build a reliable and lasting network of clients who can expand your business.
1. Specialize In a Niche
One of the best ways to build a lasting client referral network is to find a specific niche to work with. When you cater to a selected client base, you start getting recognized as an expert in that area. You can use your expertise to ask for referrals from other professionals. Rather than just being a generalist who may or may not be able to do the job, be an expert in your niche.
2. Reach Out To Professionals for Referrals
Instead of just blindly targeting clients, make a list of professionals who are working in the same niche and might be serving your target client list. The first step is to make a list of all these ideal professional's contact information and reach out to them. You want a ten-minute phone call or stand-up meeting to discuss your ideas. And who knows, maybe you can make a reliable connection to grow referral traffic for your business.
3. Host meetups with Professionals
Other professionals are more likely to refer to you when they know you and they are certain that you will help their clients in solving the problem. In order to get to know the professionals, you can host casual meetings or events for people so that you can build a strong and authentic referral network. Hosting such meet-ups is beneficial for everybody and can help in targeting ideal client referrals.
4. Leverage your existing client base to make connections
You can allow your existing client base to become a way for you to get more referrals. The idea is to connect with the other specialists /professionals /doctors /therapists /entrepreneurs with whom the clients have previously worked so that you can better offer the client you are currently serving.
5. Know the benefit of mutual client base
You can benefit considerably from a shared client base to build a steady source of reliable client referrals. Understand how an ideal professional or a specialist is working and operating his business. What is their business? Who are their clients? And what are the outcomes they provide to their clients?
6. Pitch a meeting
You need to pitch a business deal with other specialists. Once you get to know about their business, tell them about what you do and what type of clients you serve. Most of these professionals don't have enough time to speak to you, keep it short and friendly to convey your idea and the theme of your work. Don't forget to tell them the best way they can contact you if they ever want to refer a client to you.
7. Join online events
The Internet is the most fool-proof way to build an authoritative referral network. Private practices and business run both offline and online, that is why you need to become a part of internet events to connect with other professionals and specialists. You can use this way to reach beyond your usual advertising efforts to get more referrals and establish a reliable client referral network.
8. Provide exceptional service
If you want to build a large client referral network, sell your services alongside the products. The only way you are going to get people talking about you to their friends, family, and colleagues is by offering not only good service but an exceptional buying experience. Go over the top to satisfy your clients so that they will recommend you to everyone they know.
It is also highly recommended that you utilize affiliate software so that you can efficiently manage your affiliates and provide them the best service possible.
9. Monitor your data
You need to have a close watch on your data and the clients who are constantly referring other people to you. For instance, if there is a website that is constantly referring people to your business, make sure to pay attention to those ideal clients to generate the same referrals. If you are not monitoring your data then you might be missing a prime opportunity to build a steady source of referrals.
10. Reach Out To Influencers
Getting influencers to review your products or services is an easy way to get referral traffic to your website or business. You can send your products to influencers who have a considerable fan following on social media sites and just ask them to study your product. People tend to relate with the influencers on a personal level and trust their recommendations.
There are many ways to put your brand out there. You can also hire a brand ambassador agency that will help you create social media content and promote it across different platforms through their micro-influencers.
11. Make the experience worth sharing
It's not only a great service that makes people refer you to their friends and colleagues but a sharable buying experience is also essential to make people talk about you. You have often heard people on the internet saying "the packaging is so cute". These small things set you apart from the other services. Something just as simple as a thank-you note can make people remember you.
12. Make it easy for people to refer you
If you have exceptional services then just asking people to refer you is the easiest and most productive way to grow your referral network. You need to make sure that your client or the people won't have to go to lengths to refer you to somebody. Just make it easy for people to recommend you to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Add social sharing buttons to your product pages and website so that customers can refer clients easily to your business. Also, add your website link on every email and blog post so that your website or business is easily accessible to customers.
13. Refer clients back to your referral source
Client referring network is a two-way road. If a professional is referring clients to your business, you need to make sure that if ever you feel a need to refer another client to a specialist, you refer clients back to the referral source. This is a great way to make lasting referral sources to grow your business and make a mutual client base.
14. Know what the 'Perfect Time' to ask for a referral is
If you are asking your clients for a referral immediately after the deal is closed, you are doing it wrong. This method is far too aggressive and needy. Your client might think that you are just shooting after referrals and this can irritate them. Ask for a referral when you are certain that the client is delighted with your products and services in order to build trust and a reliable referral source at the same time.
15. Take care of your referral sources
Take care of your referring customers and let them know that you have special services and rewards in store for them. Like we said before, building connections and lasting referral sources are something that works two ways. If a client is referring people to your business, treat them with discounts and special services.
16. Give out business cards to happy customers
Happy customers are your best referral sources. When you hear a recommendation from someone who has had a successful experience with an expert, you tend to believe more in that advice. Hand out your business cards to happy and satisfied customers so that they can easily refer their friends and other people to you.
17. Social media is the key
Social media is the key to establishing a reliable client referral network. You can connect with other professionals or businesses to support each other. Collaborating to educate people about each other's businesses is a great way to attract referral traffic to your website and business. You can go live on Facebook to talk about the products you sell or the services you provide.
18. Treat your clients as partners
When people feel like they are part of your organization/business/community, they naturally feel the need to promote your services. Make your clients a part of the team. You can achieve this by making Facebook groups and hosting events where your past and current clients can share their experiences. This way they will remain a reliable referral source as well as long-term customers.
19. Strategize your growth plan
If you want to grow your referral network, you can't just rely on accidental referrals. Strategize your growth plan, attend events, and make connections with other professionals in the field to get noticed by personalities of your expertise. This is the only way people are going to remember your business or services and they might refer a client to your website or your business.
20. Follow up
Make sure to follow up with your regular clients every few months and ask them about the products that they have purchased. Ask them to review your products or services so that they know you care about your customers and their satisfaction.
Growing your client referral network is the primary step to make your business /company /organization get the client leads. The more referrals you get, the more people are going to know you and the better you are going to do in the market. It's quite straightforward: you simply need people to refer new clients towards your business to establish a successful business empire.