Turn Your Business into a Referral Machine

How referral worthy is your business?

If you’re unsure of the answer to this question, try this. How quickly can you name ten clients who were referred to you by other clients?

If the names of referred clients came into your brain more quickly than your voice could process them, it would be safe to say you’ve got a business that is strongly referral-worthy.  If you had to think for a bit before you came up with ten names, then there is certainly more you can do to turn your business into a referral machine.

Perhaps the first shift that needs to be made is one of mindset. Do you think of your business as a referral machine? You should.

When you think of winning new business what is the first “job” that pops into your mind? Selling? Posting to your website? Attending events?  The first thing you think of when it comes to winning new business should be your current clients and how you are inspiring them to become active ambassadors for your business.

For today’s small businesses, 85% of them gain new clients through referrals. It’s no surprise when you consider that most small businesses are built on a foundation of relationships.

As consumers, it would also be no surprise that 92% of us trust the referrals that come to us from people we know.  Presumably, we identify with the people in our own networks as more like us than the general population.  And we also assume that the people we know are motivated not to sell us something, but to share helpful information.  So we tend to trust them. Therefore, when a referral comes from a friend, we are 4 times more likely to buy.

Now consider the time and effort that your business puts into marketing itself to potential clients. If this same time and effort were invested into securing the referral process, the return in sales could be 4 times higher. It is a staggering difference.

Given the potential returns of becoming more referral-worthy are so extraordinary, why isn’t every business focussing on it more intently? Probably because to do so requires a genuine shift in mentality about what the business is all about, what kinds of relationships are built with clients every single day and what the most important outcomes are for every person connected with the business.

Much easier said than done. But it can be done. And the results can be extraordinary.