Friday, April 3, 2015

Referrals Will Help You Build Your Small or Home Business

Why Asking for Referrals Should Become a Way of Life

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One hand washes the other in the
customer-business owner relationship
When it comes to a small or home business trying to get consumers to purchase their products, a referral from a satisfied customer is a homerun. "Blasingame's Prospect EntrĂ©e Spectrum," or BPES, is a method used to value the different approaches to getting in front of a potential customer. On this scale, cold calls to prospects rank as a 1 while a referral jumps all the way to a 10 rating. It is easy to see why referrals are so important to small businesses – here is how you can make getting referrals easy.

Ask for Referrals Time and Time Again

There is nothing wrong with asking a satisfied customer to refer your products or services to others. Chances are, depending on their experience, they were planning on telling friends and family members anyway. A great way to encourage referrals is by having referral cards available – when the new prospect brings in a card that says they were referred by an existing customer, offer a special promotion or discount to the customer who referred them as well as the new prospect.

Educate Customers

Another great way to get referrals from current customers is to educate them on how they can approach referring your business to others. This could be something as simple as providing them with an elevator pitch or even giving them a handout that will instruct the potential customer where they can go for more information. When a customer is armed with “inside” knowledge about a business, they are much more likely to share it and sell the business’s products or services to others.

Make Sure to Say Thank You

When you receive a referral, make sure to thank the customer who gave it and let them know their effort to support your business was appreciated. This should ideally be done in person when the customer returns to the store or by phone call. As mentioned earlier, you can also provide them with a special promotion or discount when they refer a friend – many small businesses do this as a means to not only bring in more business but also create a strong relationship with their current customer base.

If You Want Them, Give Them

As the old saying goes, “You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours” If you want consumers and other business owners to willingly give your business referrals it is important that you give them for others as well. This is especially true for those who work in small or home businesses – over time, you will build a network of other business owners and supporting and helping one other is key to all of your business’s success. Being willing to give a referral makes it much more likely that someone will refer you.

For small businesses, referrals are the Holy Grail! Not only are they crucial to growing your customer base and your business, they are also important to improving relationships with your customers and other business owners. Making asking for referrals a way of life may seem nagging, but when you do it right it can turn into the lifeblood of your business and your overall success.  

Do you need help building your business? Perhaps you are still looking for the right opportunity. Stacy O’Quinn has helped dozens of people start their own home business and he can help you too! To learn more about Stacy and to find out how he can help you, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of jar() via Creative Commons License

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