We all know how effective good referrals are…or do we? Encouraging people within your network to send referrals your way and making an effort to give good referrals can be difficult. We likely do this on a regular basis more then we realize, but it is typically surrounding our personal lives and less in a business context.
There are many B2B networks out there who’s entire premise is referral based. My first experience with a group like this left me walking away from the first meeting I went to thinking it was some sort of a cult! Looking back I realize how effective these people actually were in driving business for each other. Knowing your contacts well enough to send your own clients to them helps build relationships and is part of providing good customer service.
Here are a few key elements for good referrals:
- Make sure you understand your client’s problem, and the skills or services they need.
- Identify your own strengths, so you know what work you want to do and what you are good at.
- Focus on doing the work you love and refer the rest to others.
- Follow up on referrals you make — were both parties happy with the result? If not, find out why and fine-tune future referrals accordingly.
- Finally, remember to acknowledge people who send you referrals with some form of thank-you recognition! We do…. Ask me about it!
Jeff Reynolds / Business Development Manager, Western Canada & USA / PEO Canada