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Referrals Drive Business Growth

Marketing and digital technology expert John Jantsch recently studied thousands of small business owners and found that nearly 80% of them did not have a referral system. He�s written a book called The Referral Engine. In it, he identifies these five �truths� that you must understand before you can plan for referrals to drive your business growth.

1. �People make referrals because they need to.�

We need each other, and we know it. Some day I might need a good business development consultant, and you will know one. A mindset that helps others and trusts that eventually you�ll receive help when you need it is a form of social capital that�s worth investing in.

2. �All business involves risk.�

A referral can be risky. If it goes bad for either party, it could damage a trusting relationship. A super-effective way to maintain trust is to connect to customers� heads AND hearts. Convince them with logic, yes. But don�t ignore how their total experience with you makes them feel. Don�t know? Ask them, and record it in your CRM (customer relationship management) notes.

3. �Nobody talks about boring business.�

What are you doing, or can you do, that is literally remarkable � that makes your customers remark about you to their friends? Maximize something about your customer experience so that they can�t stop talking about you in a good way.

4. �Consistency builds trust.�

Whatever is remarkable about you, keep doing it. Jantsch reminds us that publicity stunts don�t work. He says, �Refer-ability is a long-term game, it�s not a drive-by event�� Be authentically unique, all the time, and your thrilled customers won�t be able to stop talking about you. Your CRM system, used well, will help you manage your team�s consistency in delivering customer service.

5. �Marketing is a system.�

Do you truly believe that you deserve referrals? Or do you think asking clients to refer you is like begging for business? If what you offer truly makes your customers� lives better or adds to their business success, why would they not want to tell their friends? Use your CRM system to set up a process that from the beginning makes it easy for them to do so, and asking for referrals could become totally unnecessary.

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