5 Easy Ways to Encourage More “Word of Mouth” Referrals
If you rely on the bulk of your business coming from word of mouth referrals, how do you streamline your efforts in order to get the results that you want, especially if it feels like you are constantly out there doing your best to fill your client pipeline?
I want to talk about the element of really diving into what it’s going to require you as a sales professional, as a business owner to drive quality, word of mouth referrals to your pipeline. Often times when I talk to clients or work with clients initially about driving more word of mouth referrals into their business, they generally think that they’ve got to do more. And that’s not what I want you to do. Yes, there’s an element of being in a place where you are positioned more strategically in a multitude of places, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do more work.
I want to hit home on five strategies to get you fired up about implementing them into your specific scenario so you might see some different results in the next 30, 60, or 90 days.
Number one, narrow down your message.
This seems obvious, but for a lot of us, our message is so broad that really didn’t have any scope on to how to drive that into our ideal client pipeline or to our ideal referral source. It doesn’t give people direction as it relates to driving more leads into your business.
You might be in X, Y, Z industry, but is there another way that you can differentiate yourself within that industry to really hit the nail on the head as it relates to the type of client you serve?
Number two, be really specific about your offer.
Let’s assume that you do have your message clear and concise and you’re attending a networking event and you happened to walk into a room full of people and you think, “Gosh, there’s potential here with the 50 people that happen to be in this room. Perhaps maybe I can land a client or play a referral partner.”
But you’re giving too much detail or offering too many things where people often get confused. They really don’t know where to go or what to do because they hear that you could provide this service and this thing and then you’re focused on a third thing. People want to be told specifically what you need help with because if they know, there’s only one tiny thing that they can be mindful of or be thinking about, it will prompt people to remember you specifically if that happens to come up in a conversation where they could refer you business.
Number three, streamline your activities.
Generally, at any given time in your typical work week, there’s going to be some sort of networking function or some sort of conference or some sort of engagement activity that’s willing to potentially put you in a room full of people all at once. So if you are somebody that goes to a multitude of networking events, this is where I challenge you. If you’re into networking, what I would be thinking about if I were you, is how can I streamline my efforts? Are there things that I could be doing?
If the most productive time in your day is generally in the morning, save your admin tasks and other business-related tasks for that time of day and don’t go to networking events during that time frame.
Number four, know where your ideal referral partners are hanging out.
Often times we’re going to a networking event because we know that there’s going to be 500-5000 people. However, if your ideal referral partners aren’t going to be there, then you don’t need to be. I want you to be very mindful of where you’re spending your time.
If you want to just kick it with some friends and have a cocktail, absolutely that’s perfect. But if you’re going there because you are or wanting to build quality relationships with people, it’s less likely to happen there as opposed to you going to a leadership lunch or something where business owners are going to be hanging out. So before going to the next event, ask yourself, “Is it the best use of my time?” Know where your referral partners are hanging out and spend your time there.
Number five, get multiple channels going.
This doesn’t necessarily mean to go out there and attend more networking events. Leverage the ones you are currently going to. Share their event page and let people know you’re attending. Send the information to those you think it will benefit. You can also be a guest on a podcast and discuss the event.
What does this do? Number one, it puts you in front of them. It allows those people to learn about something, attend an event that’s probably going to be prosperous or helpful for them. And then, you can connect with them again at that event.
So we’ve got social media, podcasting, speaking opportunities, what other channels can you think of?
1. Make sure your message is on point. If you need to tweak that, figure that out.
2. Give referral partners one thing to focus on.
3. Streamline your referral activities. Make sure you’re scheduling those inappropriate times of the day where you’re keeping your productivity side a time for you to do the things that you need to do to really drive results and the networking fits in and around that.
4. Go where your referral partners are hanging out and make sure that you’re positioning yourself in the room where you are likely to receive referrals.
5. Make sure you identify additional channels for you to position your message. Don’t be a one-shot pony on the message marketing today. We’ve got to have multiple touches and generally, we can take one thing that we’re doing and get that out there five or six times for us to leverage that one thing.
I hope these tips were helpful. If there is a particular topic in regards to boosting your business as it relates to being more productive, driving more referrals, expanding your presence in your market space, put your specific ideas of topics inside the comment section. I’d love to learn more about your current areas of focus. How I can support you?