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Referrals are as natural as sliced bread. Mary tells Sue where she gets her hair cut, and Sue tries out the salon. Bill tells John where he bought his new miter saw, and John checks out the inventory at the place.
Referrals bring you the best new clients and customers. They come to you on someone else's reputation or advice.
Example: Alyce is a massage therapist. She posts pictures on her Facebook page showing hands hard at work on the back of someone's neck. The pictures not only get "liked" on Facebook, they get passed around. This has the effect of referring other people to Alyce. It worked so well, Alyce decided to post the pictures on other social media. Today, Alyce's appointment bookings extend far into the future.
Social media works very well in introducing your business to a widening circle. Pictures are powerful communicators.
People naturally talk about their experiences with others. As a business person, you want to keep this process positive and continuing.
Example: A tried and true older method is one I learned from my insurance agent. Every three months he would call me and ask for referrals. I began using the same method--calling satisfied customers, asking if I could do anything for them, and then ask for referrals. Most of the time, my customers would gladly furnish names and phone numbers. Then I would call these people, engage them in a conversation about the person who referred me to them, and ask them for an appointment to further explain my services. It did not work every time, but it worked often enough that I grew the business without spending a ton of money on advertising.
Every business needs to extend its reach, expand its circle of customers. Getting the referral process moving and keeping people talking about you and your business is vital in business.
It's like a stool with three legs--your business, your customer, and the referred person. You want to put that third leg on many stools.
Social media today can give you lots of opportunities to promote the referral process. Facebook posts are one way. Think about the possibilities using Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
More information and tips on increasing referrals can be found scattered throughout these write-ups. Build your business on these third party referrals.