I often get asked on my apps about how people can get referrals for their business. Well, I’d like to take a small step back and make a distinction between the kinds of referrals that are possible for a business to get. There are actually two types of referrals, and the second has a twist to it. So let’s get right to it. Here is a brief video on how to get referrals for your business.
The two types of referrals are social referrals and professional referrals. Let’s dive right in.
How To Get Social Referrals
Social referrals can come in a few flavors. The most common social referral is the one we come across on social networks. If we see that our friends are using a certain kind of a phone, then we also naturally get curious about that phone. And that applies to many different kinds of products.
This situation becomes even more powerful when we are actually seeking out a product. So if we are shopping for a phone, we may post a question on Twitter or Facebook about what might be the best phone, and our friends will give us their social referrals.
The challenge with this kind of an approach is that we do not get asked for product recommendations or referrals from our friends very often. So this is not something that scales very well, especially not in the beginning. And if you are a small business, the potential friends who may refer you, probably do not even know about your business. So it is trickier to get social referrals than it might seem. Now let’s explore how to get professional referrals.
How To Get Professional Referrals
Business referrals can be a great way to get clients. Let me give an example of an industry where business referrals work amazingly well.
Consider how the medical profession works. If you go to your family doctor who may be a general practitioner, he will listen to what might be causing you pain and refer you to a specialist. A specialist is a doctor who specializes in a certain field of medicine. So if you have some skin irritation, your doctor may refer you to a skin specialist. And if you have a foot problem, the doctor may refer you to a foot specialist. So doctors who get referrals from many other doctors are able to get many clients that way.
This isn’t only relevant to doctors. This can be relevant to many different kinds of businesses and it is important to always keep an eye out in terms of who might be a good kind of a business or an organization to get referrals from. So try to set up this kind of a professional referral network within your own business niche. Here is a tutorial for how to do business networking with business cards which might help you set up a professional referral network.
And here is an article on whether business card marketing still works just so you have a reasonable set of expectations for this particular marketing technique.
The Difficulty With Creating A Business Referral Network
If you are a new business, it is difficult to get professional referrals because probably the people who might be potentially referring you are not too well aware of the quality of your work. And if they recommend you, their own reputation gets put on the line. So usually, people take this quite seriously.
The other reason it might be difficult to get a professional network started is that the businesses who you want to refer clients to you probably already refer clients to other companies just like yours.
But don’t worry. There is a tool to convince them. And that tool is paying them commission or a referral fee. The referral fee can be per lead, per sale, or per inquiry. It is something you can work out with the other business. But cash certainly can convince people to refer clients to you. Just make sure your business is able to generate more cash per that client than your commission cost.
Further Resources On Marketing Your Business
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Author: Alex Genadinik