Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that finding more business means you have to reach out to ‘strangers’ (people who don’t know you or don’t know someone who knows you) and begin building relationships with them.
While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, don’t forget that there are many people who already know about you who may be willing to give you business.
I know you may not feel comfortable asking people you know for help with meeting new clients, but it’s only a question. And you may get a yes, I can help or no I can’t help. But if you don’t ask, you will miss out on all of the ‘yes’ answers.
And a ‘no’ is also valuable information because then you know that. And you can devote your time and energy to the people who say yes.
Asking the question doesn’t mean you are desperate. Asking is smart and can be done with ease and confidence.
Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting you ask for help from people you have just met or an acquaintance from the past that you haven’t seen in years.
Referrals to potential clients are given on the basis of a trusting relationship and that takes time to build.
Giving (yes, giving) referrals is also an excellent way to develop trust and build relationships. So remember to ask people you talk with what they are looking for and how you may be able to help them.
Here are four places that you may have overlooked as resources for business from referrals. For more information on referrals read my post: Who Else Wants More Referrals.
1. Inactive Clients
People who have worked with you in the past know you and understand what your business can do for them. Inactive clients may be open to giving you a referral. You just need to ask.
2. Current Clients
When is the last time you asked for an introduction or referral from current clients? You may think they will automatically do it but the reality is that they have other things on their minds. They just need a friendly reminder.
3. Your Network
People you know well, who are not clients, may also be willing to give you a referral if you ask.
4. Friends & Family
Oddly enough, sometimes the people closest to us don’t really know exactly what we do and who we work with. Why not take a few minutes and remind your friends and family what you do and ask if they know someone who might benefit from knowing about your business.
In general people do like to help; they are just busy and sometimes need a reminder or clarification about how it is they can help.
Be sure to properly thank anyone who does help you. We all like to be appreciated and feel like our efforts made a difference.
Start now and discover how it is possible to grow your business with less effort by talking with people you know and asking for referrals.
© Stephanie Ward
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Do you actively ask for referrals? Share your comments and questions below in the comments section.