2. Reach out to professional referral sources and educate them about your business.
Once you’ve listed the possibilities, you don’t need to reach out to everyone at once. In fact, if you try to reach out to too many sources at once, you may end up not impressing anyone. David Frey, CEO of Marking Best Practices, Inc. and author of How to Make It Rain Referrals, cautions, “It’s better to choose only one local family physician and become close friends with him than trying to be friends with ten physicians haphazardly.” Cultivating a good working relationship takes time, so to begin with, give yourself time to focus closely on just a few promising referral sources.
You can contact businesses via letters or emails, but that is impersonal—and not the best way to ask for referrals. It’s better to work face-to-face with someone. Let them get to know you and your business. Provide them with brochures that describe your expertise and the services you provide. Make sure they know why you are the best at what you do. Always keep them supplied with plenty of your business cards to hand out.
Frey recommends you “arm them with tools to help their customers (and your prospects).” Help your referral sources know how to help their customers. These professionals want to remain the trusted expert in the eyes of their customers, so if they are armed with specific information about your company, they can pass that on and possibly even resolve concerns and answer questions about your services. In the end, this all leads to a stronger referral for your company.
To get some great ideas on what to take with you when you visit your referral sources, download our Referral Source Portfolio Checklist.