It’s possible to build your business based on good quality referrals – whether that’s new clients or new candidates (or employees). We’ve successfully grown our family business from 1 to 3 sites and dramatically increased profitability through internal and external referrals. So what is the best way for a business to do this?
Start tracking your new clients
If you don’t already do this, start right away: track where all your new clients come from. The best method is having a reliable CRM system such as Salesforce – ensure that your Sales team input where your clients originate from – was it a cold call, an inbound call, SEO, SEM or a referral? Once your client has been invoiced, draw reports on how much they are billing, so you should be tracking how many new clients you are bringing on and what they are billing each month.
Internal Referral vs External Referral
What type of referral are they? Internal referrals refer to the networks of your employees (their family, friends, and people they meet at BBQ’s, external referrals are usually prior clients or candidates that refer you to new clients. By understanding the type of referral, you can acknowledge them appropriately but also understand how your prospects came to hear about you. Do you have strong internal networks or a positive reputation in the marketplace (or both!)?
Be the kind of business that people want to recommend
I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of recommending a business to someone else, knowing they will have a positive experience. It’s like sharing a secret to making their life a bit easier. I’m also careful to only recommend businesses where I can be sure that someone will be well looked after. If you want to be recommended, be the kind of business that people want to recommend, it’s as simple as that.
Some simple tips:
- Work with the highest degree of integrity – do what you say and say what you do
- Be consistent – ensure that you have systems and processes to ensure that your service levels are consistent and standardised
- Don’t over promise – Best to under promise and over deliver
- Do the simple things really well – give a great first impression, ensure contracts are clear and straightforward, be prompt and be fair
Acknowledge and Reward
Some of our biggest and most profitable clients have been referred to us by others. Develop an acknowledgement and referral system that works for your business. It can be as simple as a thank you card or there can be a monetary value associated to a gift, such as a gift card. Small gestures can build a solid foundation for mutually beneficial business referrals.
While this blog is primarily about business development, our core business is recruitment. Need some solid recruitment advice for your business? Speak to the team at Flexi Personnel.