5 Ways To Get More Referrals for Your Business
I was recently listening to an interview with entrepreneurial guru Dan Sullivan in which he highlighted four super easy (but often overlooked) ways entrepreneurs can guarantee more referrals for their businesses.
1. Be on Time. Sullivan says that even if you are half a minute late for a meeting, you lose credibility. Plus being on time shows enormous respect for the other person. Personally, if someone asks me for a meeting and they show up late, I begin to question whether they will be able to handle simpler tasks.
2. Do What You Say You Will. For me, this goes back to my childhood when my mother told me “Your word is your bond.” Once she promised to take me to buy a pair of sneakers after school, but during the day I got in trouble with my teacher. To my surprise, my mother didn’t drive me home. She drove me to the mall and bought me the sneakers, even though she was angry with me the whole way. When I asked her why she was still buying me the sneakers despite my mistake, she said simply – “Because I said I would.” I never forgot this.
Sullivan reminded me of this simple rule when he said that you should do what you say, or, if things change and you can’t do it (i.e. you can’t meet the deadline, you can’t make the meeting, you can’t get the project finished in two weeks but will need three instead) you should communicate that to your client as soon as you can. This helps everyone feel more comfortable and creates trust.
3. Finish What You Start. You may not always love it, you may get into a project and hate it. But if you start it, finish it. You don’t want to get a reputation for leaving when things get tough or when you lose interest. No one will refer a flake.
4. Say Please and Thank You. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yet how many people do you know that fail to use basic manners when conducting business? Doesn’t it make you feel crappy when you shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a vendor and they don’t even appreciate your business? No one HAS to buy from you. So be gracious and thank them whenever appropriate.
5. The first four tips are about becoming referrable. But I would like to add one – Ask for Referrals. If you want referrals, it’s great when they come unsolicited. But when they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask your best clients to recommend you to others who may need your services.
These tips sound so simple, but they’re not the simplest to always follow. And I guarantee that if you do them all (granted that you have a great product or service) the referrals will start flowing in. What other tips would you share?