Talking about finding your passion is all fine and dandy. And helping people through your work is always the order of the day for a small business owner. But when you finally open your doors it’s time to shove the nice feels in the cupboard for a bit and focus on bringing in some moo-la!
Business 101 says that a business exists to make money. Period. But you can make money and get clients in a way that feels totally comforting and natural – and one of those ways is by growing your business through REFERRALS!
Sure there are lots of ways to grow your business – social media! list building! signing up for a placement service like Noomi if you’re a coach! – all of which have their rightful place in the successful scheme of things. But when no one knows who in heck you are…when you’ve hung your shingle out (aka launched your website) and hear the crickets chirping really loud – referrals are the saving grace.
The good news is referrals cut that timeline down as there’s an established bridge of trust. The referred person is already looking for what you’re selling, and they know someone who will vouch for you. Congratulations! You’ve just eliminated a bunch of time in between then finding you and them hiring you.
Who to ask for referrals:
1) Former clients. This is sort of a no-brainer but even if you’re brand new in business and only have two former clients, you should ask your two former clients yesterday! Getting one referral from each of those clients means you’ve just doubled your clientele. Boom!
2) Anyone whom you’ve ever helped in a professional capacity. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t then using the skill set that you’re now exercising. What matters is that you made their life easier and they appreciate you for it.
The goal is to connect with the people who would say about you, “Whatever Cyril/Sally is doing now, I know he/she is amazing at it. I highly recommend you check him/her out to help you.”
3) People in complementary industries who have similar ethics to you. We have a friend – a graphic designer – who’s really committed to attracting and working with socially responsible, heart-centered businesses. So she’s heading down to her local farmer’s market to chat with the growers and see if anyone needs a branding update or packaging for their popular products. No need to be salesy – she’s just chatting up people she is buying from anyway and in the process, asking them to spread the word if they know anyone who needs design work done. This is completely natural and it actually works!
And hey, personality goes a long way. Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments!
Wanna get your hands on some excellent scripts to help you ask for referrals in a natural, non-salesy way? Call us to chat about how we can help you do just that!
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