How to develop a dynamic referral system

Compelling your clients to provide you with quality referrals is one of the best ways to build a successful business. Here are ways to ‘train’ your clients to make quality referrals. SPONSORED CONTENT

May 27, 2014 |
John Negich

Photo: Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Compelling your clients to provide you with quality referrals is one of the best ways to build a successful business. 

“A powerful referral system has the potential to increase your bottom line by 5 to 20 percent or more,” says Business Leadership Coach Jonathan Goldhill in a recent Construction Business Owner article. “Most business owners leave tremendous sums of money on the table by not having referral systems in place that excite their clients enough to recommend their business to others.” 

Here are ways to ‘train’ your clients to make quality referrals. 

The leading question to ask 

“With laser-like precision, you can help identify the perfect prospect you’re seeking by asking your clients, ‘Do you know any developers with commercial projects planned for our area?’ or by asking ‘What architects do you know in town who work on commercial and/or public works projects?’” Goldhill writes.

If your customers are satisfied with your expertise and service, ask them if they can think of anyone else facing a challenge or problem similar to the one you solved for them. 

The referral sheet or ‘brain tickler’ form

If you’re targeting particular types of businesses, list them on your referral sheet with spaces for names, phone numbers, contacts and addresses. 

“If you want your client to think of a particular demographic profile, write a specific description on your sheet, e.g., a civil engineering firm that specializes in commercial, road and highway construction, heavy construction, water/sewer and pipeline, excavation and demolition,” he writes.

Get the address book

Ask your clients to find five to 10 names in their address books that suit your demographic profile. 

Get to know who your clients know

Even if your client is new in town, he or she might know a person in the commercial construction industry who, in turn, knows quality people who could use your service. 

How to time the referral request

Consider these five major opportunities to ask for referrals:

When a client pays for your services

When you’ve had a client who has used your services numerous times

Within a few days of seeing the client

When you receive praise or a thank you from a client

Thanking your clients

To maintain the flow of referrals, send a thank-you card or gift when your regular client sends you a referral. 

“Another idea would be to give a select number of your regular clients coupons to give to the people they refer, inviting them to come to your business and receive a complimentary gift,” Goldhill writes. “Once a client has impressed you with numerous high-quality referrals, consider offering them a more significant reward that is tied to your services.” 

Read more at Construction Business Owner.

Editor's Note: This is sponsored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company.

John Negich | Metal Building Trends

John Negich is Vice President of Sales for Star Building Systems. He began his career with Star in 1985 as District Manager for the Pittsburgh District. During his tenure, he has also served as Region Manager for Star's Eastern Region and most recently for Star's Northern Region. John attended the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as the Greensburg Institute of Technology in Greensburg, PA. Prior to his time with Star, John practiced architecture.

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