This is the blog transcript of our video “Why People Refer You Business”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Everyone loves getting referrals. They’re easily the best way to grow your business. But why would anyone send a referral to you instead of any of the other people they know?
Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.
If you’ve watched any of our past videos, you know that I’m a firm believer that referrals are the best way to grow your business.
When someone hands you a referral, it’s kind of like they’re giving you their stamp of approval making it significantly easier to get a meeting and often times easier to close a sale.
Growth by “word of mouth” and “who you know” is a tale as old as time. We’ve all heard it, and it’s what we’re all looking for.
But what really motivates people to why people refer you? And how can you cultivate that growth?
To dig deeper, we need to take a look at WHY people refer you business. What motivates someone to refer a friend or business associate to you? What’s in it for them?
First, they know you, they like you, and they trust you.
There’s an old saying: All things being equal, people would rather do business with those they know, like and trust.
And that’s very true.
But all things not being equal, people would still do business with those they know, like and trust.
If your clients and associates enjoy doing business with you, know what they can expect, and have a good sense of what it’s like to work with you, they’re much more likely to refer you to others.
It’s not enough to have a strong offering or solution. You may be the best game in town, but if people don’t like working with you, they’re not going to refer you business.
Sure, there are other motivators that you can try – plenty of people use referral bonuses and other incentives. Those can work, but their long term effectiveness is suspect at best.
Quality referrals come from the hard work and long term investment of getting to know people and building a relationship with them.
Which brings us to the next reason people refer you business: you’ve built a relationship with them.
Building relationships is everything with referrals.
As we talked about in the last step, people refer business to people they like.
Obviously, if you’re friendly enough to make the initial connections with people, they’re bound to like you – but what does it take to build a relationship with them?
Well the answer here is pretty simple – time.
The only way to build relationships with anyone is to invest time into the people with whom you’d like to build relationships.
Focus on communication. Create open lines of communication with people you want to build those relationships with, along with multiple ways for them to contact you. Regular, ongoing communication is key here.
Also, make sure you take the time to get together with referral partners, clients and customers, and others you’re hoping will ultimately refer you business.
With the popularity of tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook Portal, and Facetime, getting together with folks regularly has become significantly easier than it used to be.
Obviously these aren’t going to completely take the place of sitting down over breakfast or a cup of coffee, it can be really effective to help you build those relationships.
As you get to know people, it’s going to become significantly easier for you to ask for specific referrals to people you’d like to meet and make introductions for them as well.
And that’s important too. Nothing builds a relationship better than giving first. If you can make an introduction or two to someone, it’s definitely going to make an impression.
Which brings us to our next point – ensuring that you’re top of mind.
Third, you’re top of mind.
Staying top of mind is a good way to bring in referrals – but how do you stay “top of mind?”
This all comes back to regular communication.
Create a rhythm of communication with the people from whom you’d like to get referrals. This can be a newsletter, a phone call, a text message – anything that’s going to help you keep in touch.
Ideally, people should never go more than 30 days without hearing from you.
Make a timeline for daily or weekly touch bases in your CRM. Meet with them monthly in person to review accomplishments and quarterly for happy hour or lunch. Also send a gift yearly or invite them to a large event your hosting.
Whatever you’re sending them, though, make sure that it’s valuable so that you don’t cross the line into just being annoying.
Social media can be another great way to stay top of mind so commit to posting regular, quality posts on your social media channels. Your network will see that content, too, and will be more likely to remember you when the time comes to make an introduction.
Your target audience may not be reading everything you put out there, but staying consistent in their feed helps you stay top of mind… and ensures you have a foothold on competitors who are doing the same.
An outdated LinkedIn profile is an immediate red flag to someone looking to do business with you, so beef up your LinkedIn and publish those articles, change your profile picture and celebrate that promotion.
Ultimately, your network will see you as you are: a thriving expert.
Spend time on LinkedIn interacting with posts and following others.
Staying up to date and engaging with client’s businesses will go a long way so go ahead and endorse people, make the most of recommendations and keep an open mind when you receive a newsletter in your inbox.
You never know – they could just be your next great lead.
Why do people refer you business? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and while you’re there hit that like button to let us know you’re getting something out of this video!
On to the fourth reason people refer you business, you’ve shown them that you’re not going to embarrass them.
When someone is referring you business, they’re connecting their reputation directly with you. So everything you do, how you communicate, how you manage your relationship, how you provide your service, EVERYthing reflects back to them.
So it’s not enough that they believe that you can help, have a good price and are true to your word. They have to trust that you’re not going to embarrass them or take advantage of their referral, but rather treat them with the same respect and care that’s been shown to them.
That’s not to say that you have to be perfect every time. Mistakes happen, and sometimes relationships go sour. Most people understand that.
But if something does happen and the relationship goes bad, how you handle it will make all the difference in the world.
If you made a mistake, own it and do what you can to correct it. And keep the person who provided you the referral in the loop.
It’s never fun airing your dirty laundry out for everyone to see, but transparency can go a long way in making sure that you don’t lose that trust.
Finally, people refer you business because they know they’re appreciated for it.
How do you show appreciation?
Well, that’s going to depend on you and your business. The easiest answer to this question is always money or gifts. We’re in business, and green speaks, there’s no way around it.
If you’re in a low margin business, though, then referral fees, gifts, and things like that probably won’t make sense. So what do you do?
Well you’d be surprised at just how effective a simple email with a “Thank You!” can be.
Whatever you do, be emphatic about it. Tell the person who referred you the business just how much it meant to you and how excited you are to work with this new client.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make a show of appreciation – just be genuine. It goes a lot further anyway.
I’ve developed a podcast along with Phil Pelto, the founder of Firestorm, a great B2B networking organization focused on fostering referral relationships called The Referral Bench.
On this podcast, we talk about how to grow your business with referrals, interview people who have successfully built their businesses based on networking and referrals.
If you’re trying to grow your business with referrals, it’s a great resource. We’re on all the major podcasting platforms and I’ve included links in the description below.
Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!
We’ll see you next time around!