The amount of referrals a company gets in a given year plays a large part in its success. There are those that believe referrals are the lifeblood of a business and failure awaits those that fail to get them. Business owners can easily learn how to generate solid referrals with a little guidance.
Referrals can come from many sources: some rather costly ones, and some costing almost nothing at all. Network groups like your local Chamber of Commerce – or eNetwork Business Partners – offer business owners the opportunity to meet people from all types of businesses; and recruit the same businesses to help market their products and services. Business conversations transform into a marketing plateau instantly. Although this can be expensive, it is a social event, and requires very little of your time.
Setting up a professional and eye catching booth at a trade show is a great way to drum up new business and referrals. A booth near the entrance is much more desirable than one at the back of the room since it will generate more foot traffic. You should also have a professional banner that clearly displays your company name, logo, website, and phone number. Another way to get people interested in your booth is to offer a raffle. This will give you a chance to explain your product or services and get people interested.
Share Your Business
Make sure your family and friends know all about your business and the services and products you provide. Educating those you know about your business is a great way to obtain referrals. It is very important that they understand what you do. Learn how to subtly turn any conversation into great marketing opportunity for you.
Craft Interesting Copy
There are hundreds of e-zines and website on the Internet which can provide a wealth of referrals for your business. Write a business related article full of interesting tidbits that subtly sells own business venture. By adding plenty of links to your website you’ll have an increase in traffic by ten fold. This is a great way to get in touch with people who are already interested in your type of business.
Join Internet Programs
Internet gurus stress the importance of using Affiliate Programs. Some claim that a website that only specializes in affiliate programs will earn you thousands of dollars for doing nothing. But, the real advantage of an affiliate program is “getting the news out.” Each time someone signs up for your affiliate program, a link, or banner appears on the affiliate’s site. It’s an inexpensive way to advertise your business in a more adverse market.
The Importance of Marketing Material
Generating referrals takes someone who has some marketing knowledge. If you’re a “people person,” you should have no problem obtaining referrals from casual conversations. When you’re fortunate enough to meet with business professionals, don’t forget to ask for their business card. Your business card will leave a lasting impression.
In a few weeks, send a “Thank You” card reminding them how much you enjoyed meeting them. Enclose a flyer, a brochure, a few business cards, or even a discount card. Ask them to pass along the savings to friends, family members, or colleagues that can best use your products or services. The process never ends.
Costly and otherwise, referrals are yours for the taking if you are clever and mingle with enough business professionals. People buried behind a computer screen all day who do not socialize have very poor odds of landing referrals but those with some ambition and not afraid to talk with people can get them all day long. Use the assets at your disposal and receive your just rewards.