Referrals are considered widely as the best way to build growing and stable business today. Therefore. having a goal of giving the best customer service plays so much important role. Happy customers can be a huge gain for any business.
And when customer isn't happy with your product or the service, that is the worst thing that can happen to your business because with social media and internet, good or bad – the news flows incredibly fast either way.
However, in addition to having a happy customer base backed up with some great product and service, it's also important to focus on networking with other business owners to have a strategic business alliance to give and get referrals. When you’ve been recommended by a trusted source; the sale will be far easier to close than a cold lead. Business networking can be very powerful to achieve exactly that, if done right. Especially when you are a small business owner, initially you are building one customer at a time and referral networking is your best marketing tool.
How to generate more referrals for your business
One of the best books on business networking and how to get continuous referrals for your business I have ever read was,"Endless Referrals" by Bob Burg. I highly recommend you reading that book if you would really want to get a grip on how to have an endless stream of referrals coming your way at all times.
One of the methods Bob described in his book for this purpose is to participate in local business networking events such as Meetup Groups, local Chamber Of Commerce meetings and to even create your own referral networking group focused on building referral relationships. Participating in business networking events has been the best source of referrals that I receive for my business. At Krishna World Wide, we are constantly reaching out to other businesses to find out how we can work together.
When you are attending a networking event, the goal is not to exchange as many business cards possible, but it is to network with a strategy. When you know your target market and you are looking to build referral based relationships with other business owners, think about who else services your target market. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, a print shop might know 1,000 other small businesses. If you are a nutritionist or have health care business – personal trainers, gym owners could be other business owners to network with. In such relationships, the referrals could flow both ways and that's a win-win situation everyone loves!
To Do – Before And During Business Networking Events
While going to networking events, it is a great idea to be prepared because prior preparation prevents poor performance. Plan the best ways to get introduced to others, have your value proposition ready and your expectations from the event. Here are 5 things to do when you are at the event:
To Do – After Business Networking Events
Similarly, post the event, when you have new contacts at hand, have a strategy to follow up with the people you met. That is the most critical part of the netwoking. A few things worth considering for the follow up could be:
Question: How has word-of-mouth or referral marketing helped you in your business ? What other methods of referral networking have you used to grow your business? Please share below in the comments.