When it comes to building a referral network it is an easy and extremely effective way to grow your business. Creating a referral network takes time and you need to nurture these relationships. Asking for referrals is the one of the easiest form of getting warm leads, yet so many people forget to ask for them.
Here are five ways to build a referral network:
- Join an organization/network. As an entrepreneur, networking is one of the most powerful business tools you have at your disposal, just make sure you ask someone like businessprint.ie to make you some business cards before you go to networking events, so that you can hand out your contact details smoothly. Joining a networking association is a great way to build relationships, get to know people and get warm referrals. At a networking meeting you can take the time to express what an ideal client looks like. You can ask for an introduction to a specific industry. You can identify particular characteristics an ideal business or customers need to have.
- Build a circle of influences. A centre of influence is a strategic alliance. These are a group of business owners that share like customers. The key is to build a network that builds on relationships and provide value.
- Ask for introductions. Part of building a referral network is being able to ask for an introduction to someone you do not know. You can connect with a business that has the same strategic interest that you do.
- Ask for referrals from your customers. You customers are your best referral sources. Seek referrals from your most influential customers. They are your best customers who rave about your services. Make sure you act on those referrals.
- It would also be worth organising a networking event through a Corporate event planner for example. They will be able to organise the event, including the location, staffing, food and drink etc. You need to invite people that you feel will be your target audience, as well as people who can influence your target audience like social media influencers for example. Being able to network directly with people who will be interested in you at an event you have put on for them will be a great way of increasing your chance for a referral. You could try and plan it yourself, but it would be far easier and less time consuming to use a highly recommended and experienced event planner.
When it comes to building a referral network, you want quality referrals not necessarily the quantity of referrals. With these five steps, you are on your way to building your referral network to really develop your name and your brand’s name.