Referrals, word of mouth – all great ways to build your business. But you cannot WAIT for people to send you referrals, you have to be proactive and thoughtful in how you create them. Asking everyone you meet for referrals has a very low probability of actually turning into paying clients.

These 3 simple keys will help you grow your business using referrals 

1) What problem do you solve for people? What goal do you help them acheive?

Dig deeper. WHY do they want that? WHY? Keep asking FIVE times. From there, you can see who ALSO helps people solve this problem or acheive this goal.

Some examples would include people who want to: grow their business, accelerate their career path, lose 10lbs, find a job, not be fired, find true love, keep true love, have better relationship with family, be a better parent, etc, etc, etc.
You may have nuances beyond this, but you have to get specific enough to connect with others who serve the people YOU serve, but not  in the same WAY you serve them.
Ie. People who want to lose 10lbs. If you are a personal trainer, a great referral partner would be a health coach.
BUT not just any health coach – a health coach that aligns with your philosophy. So, someone who requires their clients to cut out all sugar, but you think moderation is key, you would NOT align.
If you help people get a promotion – maybe you are a makeup artist who helps people with their corporate personal branding, a great alliance would be someone who does corporate presentation training.
STEP #1: What PROBLEM do you solve?

2) Where are those referral partners?

Once you have identified the problem you solve – brainstorm who else solves the same problem in a different WAY.  Now, likely there will be many choices for you. How do you start? This is about building TRUST with this person. Giving you a referral is a risk for them. Why should they trust you? Why should they take the TIME to trust you?
Start to be on the lookout: in person events, online, conferences for people whose work YOU love and trust to send YOUR clients and prospects. Look for people who are AS successful as you, or just a LITTLE bit above. Look for people on the SAME trajectory as you. Just because you are beginning doesn’t mean EVERYONE who is starting is a good fit for you. Some people are more ambitious, dedicated, ready to go than others. Some people treat their business like a hobby. If you are serious about your work, make sure you team up with people who are at the same level as you (or a little bit higher) who are on the same TRAJECTORY. Who have the same level of ambition and drive, and who show it in their ACTIONS (not words). This will take some time to discover these people and time to build the relationships to create referral relationships. It isn’t a short term strategy.
Of course, keep your eyes open for the bigger, complementary players in your field, and start to develop relationships with them – a kind email about how much you love their work, a social media comment that adds value to their people, you can even ask them to be a guest on your podcast. Hey, if you have built a relationship with them and they like the value you are adding – you can ask (really, really thoughtfully and strategically) for them to promote form you (never hurts to ask – especially if you are thoughtful about what’s in it for THEM!). But don’t RELY on that as your source of leads. If they say yes, great! If they say no, you have other strategies in place.

3) Keep Referrals Coming

Do AMAZING work for your clients. Your business should have three major priorities: 1) do great work for your clients, 2)increase your expertise so you can add more value to your clients, 3) learn to sell your services.
Without those three things, nothing else you do will matter.
If someone trusts you with their clients, overdeliver. Don’t break your boundaries please, but do what you said you were going to do and a little more. Make it easy for them to send MORE people your way.
Thank your referral partners. Find out what is important to them – do they want a commission? Do they want a gift? Maybe a donation made in their name? Find out what they care about and DO it.

Bottom line – this is SALES 101: WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM??? 

If you aren’t thinking about that, you will randomly make sales based on luck every once in a while. You won’t have a consistent, repeatable process. This isn’t rocket science, but you would be surprised how many people I hear at networking events, online, in social media “looking for referrals” with NO thought to why someone should send someone their way, and how to make it EASY for them.

I want you to have as many referrals as you can handle, but you can’t sit back waiting and hoping for them to come. Word of mouth isn’t a strategy. It is a happy by-product of doing great work, but it isn’t a dependable source of lead generation or sales.

Get strategic. Get intentional. And most of all always ask: what is in it for THEM? (whoever “them” is you are talking to)

If you know anything about sales, these tactics may seem obvious. But you may *think* you are being clear, but you are SO involved in your expertise and field – it isn’t clear to anyone else. It may be in your BLIND SPOT. Start asking friends and family: is it clear what problem I solve for people or goal I help them achieve? I see it time and time again. If you aren’t 100% sure and growing your business is a priority – sign up here to find out. 

Want to know why you aren’t getting as many referrals to your business as you want? SIGN UP now for a 1-1 PRIVATE Referral Multiplier Session to find out WHY you aren’t getting the sales results you want and how to turn it around. 

ABOUT Kristen

ABOUT Kristen

CEO and Creator of Sales Success Formula

At a time when the real estate market had plummeted into the biggest recession since the Great Depression, Kristen Baker, a recent graduate of Chicago’s prestigious Northwestern University, jumped into the commercial real estate industry. Not one to let her circumstances hold her back or shape her destiny, Kristen created a sales system that resulted in over $100 million in revenue for her clients. Her astounding results yielded her the “Rising Star” award of distinction.

Kristen further enhanced her skills by getting trained in both Jungian Spiritual Psychology and Money coaching.

Today Kristen helps her clients transform problems into possibilities and setbacks into stepping stones. Her greatest joy is seeing how her systems and roadmaps help her clients achieve record breaking results while living a balanced and fulfilled life.

A product of her own work, Kristen Baker’s coaching practice helps others discover “success beyond the obvious” by finding innovative ways to monetize their passions and generate revenue abundance.