There is overwhelming evidence that referrals can be essential for the growth of your business and your career. Referrals should be a condition of doing business and should automatically be expected. According to Patrick McFadden, named a marketing thought leader by American Express OPEN and the founder of Indispensable Marketing, “You deserve referrals. You’re doing a disservice to your customer and strategic partners by not providing an easy way for their clients to experience the same value or receive the same results.”
McFadden suggests creating a target approach and offers to your successful clients who can be motivated to refer. He also encourages businesses to show appreciation for a referral whether it produces or not. McFadden reminds us people who go out of their way to voluntarily tell someone about your business are motivated to do so because they like doing it rather than expecting something in return. “A simple show of appreciation is always a must.”
Don’t ask for the referral, but for an introduction
McFadden advocates making referrals an essential part of any business’s lead generation. Yet go beyond the lead, make the connection with the potential new client. Understand their business, communicate and take their suggestions and incorporate them with your services, so all benefit.
Anyone can be better. McFadden encourages businesses to be different. Develop and define your differentiation from your competitors. McFadden supports the concept of incorporating differentiation into your marketing strategy through what he terms as the Small Business Strategy Engine of:
Awareness – referrals begin here!
Education – attract prospects while sharing your success stories or customer’s testimonials
Sample – demonstrate and share the “how to”
Purchase – educate from the standpoint of a new customer
Refer – The ultimate journey for you and your customer
Do not be afraid to ask for the introduction! Make referrals an important piece of your strategic plan, be different while sharing knowledge. Remember, customers like to see themselves as an authority, a helper or someone “in the know.” Overtime you will see the how referrals are beneficial to your company and essential to your career.