7 Small Business Networking Techniques That Increase Referrals
- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On October 28, 2013
- networking, professional networking, small business networking, word of mouth marketing
One of the many benefits of small business networking is growing your business through word of mouth marketing. Take a look at these seven proven techniques for getting more referrals.
Be deliberate. Many businesses pay careful attention to every advertising dollar, but expect their referral business to manage itself. Once you consider its value, it’s easy to see that it deserves a systematic approach with specific goals and timelines.
Keep your collateral on hand. Make it easy for your supporters to give leads. Print up professional business cards. A colorful postcard with a limited time offer like a free consultation or sample is also effective in the right situations. Carry your materials around wherever you go. You never know where you might meet someone you’d like to connect with again.
Advertise. Play up word of mouth in your advertising and marketing. People like the idea that others recommend you. It may also help to remind them that you want referrals.
Polish up your introduction. You probably belong to a number of small business networking groups. Review how you introduce yourself. Listen to people you admire. Make sure you have an effective hook.
Pay it back. Of course, reciprocity is the heart of good networking. Help others out if you want them to do the same for you.
Team up. Buddy up with a compatible but non-competitive operation to offer more benefits to your clients. A shoe store and a hair salon could do a cross promotion with discounts to help their customers look good from head to foot.
Offer rewards. Provide incentives for making a referral. Send a small present to someone who gives you a lead. Whether or not you make this public beforehand is up to you. The reward also doesn’t have to be monetary. A small gift or note of appreciation received in the mail is a thoughtful way to show your thanks and keep you in the mind of the person who referred you.
If you’re an entrepreneur who has a good thing going but needs organization, tools, resources and knowledge to work at the level you aspire to. Contact me to see how we can work together to boost your business.