We know asking for referrals is the most effective way to grow your business. Some organizations have thrived purely on referrals. But most organizations, especially the small ones, are hesitant when it comes to referrals.
They feel its awkward and intimidating (for the obvious fears of failure or rejection). And it sure is. But if you were to put your self-esteem and self-image issues aside, it is still one of the most powerful ways to build your business. I’ve been doing through research on the latest and greatest referral marketing strategies lately. And they all point me to two key aspects anyone keen to leverage their relationships:
- Make it easier for your contacts to refer you. Let’s face it. Everyone hates selling. Your referees are no exception. They’re better off minding their own business than make a sales pitch for you. Aren’t they? The question is this — how can it make it easier for them. Steve Gordon suggestions that we develop a referral kit that has valuable content and can easily be shared by the referees. They won’t have to do any selling on behalf of you as the kit’s value speaks volumes about who you are and what your business is all about. The only challenge seems to be this: it takes time to put together a solid referral kit. But I believe it’s worth the time and effort.
- Have a strategy in place. If you don’t have one, you won’t survive. Period. I know it feels awkward to have a strategy in place for the people whom you care about. But they’re not starving. You are. And what’s wrong in asking for help? Would you deny help if they reach out to you? I’m cocksure the answer is a resounding NO! What gives then?
While the first aspect is pretty much doable, the second one would take a lot of time. My suggestion is always to get a coach or a mentor to guide you through the process. You need to get down to the nitty-gritty and ensure that your self-esteem and self-image issues aren’t getting in the way of your survival.
The strategy above is pretty fundamental and simple (compared to the advanced strategies you will have to implement for all your “digital marketing” cravings). But simple isn’t easy. And that’s where you will falter unless you’re not mentally ready.