In the world of business, finding customers is the key to success. Companies today work very hard and spend great deals of time and money on obtaining new customers. One very simple and effective way for companies to get additional customers without the normal time and expense involved is to build a solid referral system. Think about this for a moment: The last time you required a doctor or perhaps an auto mechanic, did you simply look them up in the phone book? Probably not. You likely asked around and got some names from friends and associates. This is the power of referral systems at work.
According to Forbes, referral networks are helping more and more people land solid leads, and referral groups are popping up all over the place. Why are referrals so effective? For a few reasons: The first reason is commonality. The fact that you and someone else share something in common such as an acquaintance makes the process of breaking the ice that much easier. The second reason is endorsement. The fact that someone else has passed along your name implies their endorsement whether intentional or not.
One must differentiate between clients, customers and advocates. A client does business with you regularly and gives you an occasional referral; a customer just does business with you while an advocate supplies you with an ongoing supply of referrals. Obviously, a business will want to have as many advocates out there as possible. Your goal should be to obtain as many advocates as you can!
Never be afraid to ask for referrals. Make your clients a valuable part of your ongoing business efforts by asking for their help. Ask them to refer customers to you if they like your work. Do great work and provide great service, ask for more referrals, and business will take care of itself!
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