If you are in business then chances are you are in business to make money. Referral marketing is one of the most cost effective and best ways to increase your profits without spending a fortune. Almost every business has some form of referral network. With just a little bit of effort and concentration there is no reason that you should not be able to develop your own referral network into one of the best. People have contacts and connections. It is people who buy our products and services and people who make up any referral marketing network. Many business people have contacts and connections and believe these contacts and connections make up a referral network. Many of these same business people fail to cultivate the relationships they have with these contacts. It is those relationships that become the foundation for a powerful referral network. Without relationships the contacts and connections become stale and indeed the people lose contact with each other all together.
Referral marketing is a time tested proven method to increase your profits and grow your business. If your referral marketing efforts are not producing the results you want, you're not doing something right.
It's All About People People People
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Give and you shall receive. If you are not getting any referrals from your contacts or you do not feel your referral contacts are working for you, then ask your self some questions. Do your contacts know who you are and what you do? Are you giving referrals to others? Are you communicating with your contacts? Are you really interested in what your contacts are doing? Do you show interest in your contacts? Are you someone your contacts trust? If you are only interested in helping yourself, referral marketing will never work for you.
Educate Your Contacts
If you want your contacts to give you referrals you need to keep your contacts up to speed on what you are doing, how you are doing and what you are going to be doing next. You must keep all your contacts informed as to your latest products and services. Take interest in your contacts; Ask them for updates on what they are selling and what they are doing next. This exchange of information is not only important from an knowledge standpoint but it is essential to cultivating the relationship as well.
Communicate with your contacts often. Provide them material that helps them understand and promote your business. Ask them for informational material about their business. Informational material, websites, business cards are all great for passing referral information to prospective customers.
Never Assume Anything
In our society it is very easy to prejudge people before we know anything about them. Be careful not make assumptions about anyone before you have a chance to evaluate the potential for relationship development over a period of time. You never know who could turn into a regular, loyal client or a great contact. You never know who people are or who they may know or talk to about you. Treat each person you meet as a prospect with the same customer care and thoughtfulness you give your best client. You will reap great rewards later.
Knowledge is power. Your knowledge can directly affect who you know and how you interact with them. What you know about referral marketing will have as big an impact on your referral marketing efforts. Your knowledge of the products you sell and services you provide is important to your customers and your referral network contacts. If you have a database of contacts that you consider unqualified or have deducted as useless you have probably underestimated the power and potential to exponentially grow the number of buyers you have to sell to within your own network. Each one of your contacts has their own contacts and each one of those contacts has contacts as well.
The power of the Internet and the tools available to communicate and disseminate information makes your ability to further develop relationships with people you already know not only very possible, but very likely if you put a little effort into the process.
When you educate yourself about the tools and techniques available to dissect your own information and then put that knowledge to use you not only set the tone for your business but you take control of your marketing efforts. Use the many tools at your disposal to help communicate your message. Be sure to demonstrate your competency and integrity. Share your knowledge about referral marketing and how you can refer people to your contacts as you teach them how to refer people to you. The strength and effectiveness of your referral network will depend on the strength and quality of the relationships you develop.
Referral marketing networks provide a unique opportunity to increase your profits virally with minimal monetary expenditure. The success of your referral marketing efforts depends on your ability to consistently evaluate your own efforts and your relationships. Effective referral marketing is always a two way street. You may develop close relationships with emotional connections and social interests with your contacts. Only individuals who can accept this responsibility, be accountable for their own actions and respectful of others will be able to make the whole referral marketing process work successfully.