Referral Strategies Made Easy

Nick Roberts

Referrals are key to your (business) life - you should be getting 50% plus of new business from referrals and 80% or more in services. Like all aspects of business, the secret to successful referrals is systems.

The first thing you need to do is to put systems in place to earn the referrals in the first place, as irrespective of how hard you try you won't get referrals if you're doing an average job - you have to delight your customers, go the extra mile and show you really care.

Secondly, you need to prompt referrals, not sit back and wait. This can be done a variety of ways including referral promotions (things like referral vouchers, cards or certificates), referral events, giving referrers a script so that they know what to say about you or conveying the expectation that you're looking for referrals e.g. celebrating referrers in newsletters or on a display board.

Thirdly, it's essential to give recognition for referrals and I never cease to be amazed at how bad business people are at this. How long does it take to make a call, send a quick email or best of all, a hand-written note? A simple THANK YOU goes a long way.

Lastly, reward as well as recognise. A return referral is best, but otherwise give a small personalised gift. If you can't find out their personal tastes, play safe as it's disappointing getting a bottle of wine you don't like!

If you're not sure how to proceed, get some advice from a business expert or do some research or reading. For example, US business guru Jay Abraham has a truly excellent CD set with no less than 93 referral systems you can replicate. Listen to it in your car and you'll get loads of fantastic ideas, like I did!

If you have any tax or business queries of any kind telephone 0800 ASK NICK, e-mail me at or use "Contact Us" on The information in this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific advice.

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