Charlie Cook's MArketing for Success Insider's Club


The Small Business Marketing Secret to Getting Referrals

Author: Charlie Cook   |   June 10th, 2008

“I get most of my new business from referrals.”

Every small business owner and marketer wants to be able to say these 9 words. When you can say this, it means you aren’t struggling to increase leads or frustrated with trying to convince prospects to buy from you.

When it’s true, your clients and business associates are doing your marketing for you.

When a prospect is referred to you, they’re relying on someone else, another client or a supplier to vouch for you and your products and your services. Your credibility and the value you provide is already established.

And this is a big relief because I don’t know anybody who truly enjoys having to prove themselves to prospects.

Typically you’ll convert 5 to 7 times as many referred prospects to clients. Let me repeat that; typically, you’ll convert 5 to 7 times as many prospects that come to you through referrals. Referrals make it a lot easier to be highly profitable.

For most small business owners and sales people the occasional referral drops out of the sky like a pleasant surprise. Don’t you love it when a new client is sent your way pre-sold and ready to buy? Everyone does!

If you like getting referrals so much, and they are so profitable, what are you doing to generate more? For most business owners and sales people the answer is… nothing.

What can you do to generate a steady stream of referrals so you can grow your business by leaps and bounds?

Want to know what works? Use this link >>

The 2 Marketing Secrets to Generating Referrals
The simple truth is that generating more referrals is as easy as
growing grass.

Recently my wife and I decided to do something about our sorry-looking lawn. We had done only the bare minimum of maintenance for several years. Last fall we surveyed the weeds and bare patches and decided we wanted to actually grow some grass.

After pulling out the weeds, what was left was pretty ugly. The first step was to spread grass seed. The next was to make sure it was watered twice a day. Without regular watering, as you know the seed would just dry up and blow away.

Here in Connecticut, rain is a random event. If we relied on nature there was a good chance the seed wouldn’t germinate and we’d be left with patches of dirt instead.

The solution? We cranked up the automatic sprinkler system. If you have one you know you can set it to water your lawn twice a day as we did. Now a few weeks later, the seed has sprouted and our lawn has filled completely filled in and looks great.

Want to fill in your sales with referrals so you can increase your profits? Get the details here >>

Generating a steady stream of referrals is the same as growing grass. Here’s the small business marketing ideas you need:

1. Prepare the Seed
To generate more referrals, plant the seeds with your best salespeople. Give your existing clients, suppliers and sales partners the marketing materials they need to promote you so they can spread the word.

This can be as simple as giving them the words to use to describe your business. A concise statement (8 to 12 words) of the problems you solve and the benefits of your products and services will help them spread the word. They can easily explain the value of contacting you to people they know.

You could go beyond just sharing your marketing message and produce a client-focused brochure that paints a clear picture of the situations you help people with and details the benefits of your services.

Or write and share articles that entertain and educate, and help prospects see you as the go-to expert.

And you could make sure that all of this information is readily accessible on your web site, so that existing clients can point people to your site.

In sum, if you want to generate more referrals, give your network of referral partners the right small business marketing tools to promote you.

2. Make It Rain Every Day
The second marketing secret to generating referrals is to make the process less random. We needed the automatic sprinklers to make our grass grow; you need an automated system for following up with your referral partners.

Stay in touch on a regular basis so they know what to do and when to do it. I schedule a call every month with each of my super affiliates, and then ask them to commit to a schedule of mailings and activities they can to do that will send referrals my way.

As a result, I can’t say that 100% of my business comes from referrals, but over 50% does. You can do the same by applying these two simple strategies.

Ready to discover the rest of the secrets to growing your profits that most business owners and marketers will never know or apply? Find out how to reach and exceed your business goals >>

Revealing the Small Business Marketing Ideas Used By Self-Made Millionaires

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2 Responses to “The Small Business Marketing Secret to Getting Referrals”

  1. Richard Says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Great article it is one avenue I know a bit about but do not do enough of. I like your simple analogy of getting referral business and will do something about it today!


    Rich Muir
    making registering your new company easy

  2. James Z Says:

    The magic of social media is that it’s instant referrals made easy. People see their friends tweeting or liking stuff and go to see what it’s all about. Whether online or offline, referral marketing is so much easier than cold calling and I am glad you are telling people to make it a regular part of their daily activities.

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