Are you tired of expecting tons of referrals from your customers, only to be consistently disappointed that they don’t do it?
There are two factors that might be happening:
- Referrals are risky business – putting your reputation out there carries high risk when referring your friends to your favorite restaurant, dentist or mechanic. Ask yourself the question: “how many referrals have I made today?” It’s better to give than receive, right?
- People are busy – we work with clients all the time who ask for word-of-mouth referrals, Facebook shout-outs, or even asking their happy customers to write an online review. But they don’t always do it. It’s frustrating, but few people have extra time in their day.
So where else can you find referrals? Try attracting them from your strategic partners.
- A mechanic could develop a strong mutual referral relationship with a tire shop. The mechanic does all the alignments and other repairs, while the mechanic refers all their customers to a specific tire shop (maybe offering a special exclusive discount).
- A oil and gas surveying company could write a powerful whitepaper about issues in the industry and co-brand it with a title attorney’s office who could send it out to their clients
- A social media marketing consultant could collaborate on a free lead generation seminar with a general business coach to tap each other’s networks.
- A graphic designer could make a strategic alliance with a local print shop where business and referrals are exchanged.
Regardless of what you do, consider that your relationship with those strategic partners must be cultivated with time and effort. Trust-building is just as important with them as it is with your customers!
To read more, I suggest John Jantsch’s article, “How to Make Yourself More Attractive to Potential Partners.”