Referral systems are wonderful ways to grow your business.But you still need to find more clients to be able to build your referral machine?
Have no fear! Here are 3 simple steps for bringing in lots of clients, especially if you use them on a regular basis.
YOUR “1-2-3” SYSTEM
1. Meet a New Person
Forget all that advice about not talking to strangers. You’ve got to get to know new people in order to build a community of people who know who you are and love what you do.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to be an extrovert or spend your days and nights at networking events.
The online universe makes meeting new people extremely easy, and you can do your networking in the comfort of your home and at the time that’s most convenient for you.
You’ve got to be strategic.
Try to connect with influencers in your industry or, even better, their friends—people who influence the opinions of these influencers! Usually, they’re not as busy, and they tend to be more approachable. They can help you open up channels of communication with these leaders.
Research people or organizations that already have an established audience with the people you are trying to reach. Introducing yourself to them might lead to a fruitful partnership.
Action Step: Introduce yourself to one new person a day.
Keep the introductory e-mails short.
Start with “Hi…, we’ve never met, but I wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you that…” Then mention how this person or their work has positively affected you: “…your book shifted my perceptions about how a business must be run.” End with a question that requires a short answer or even an offer to support them: “How can I support you?”
Follow up is incredibly important.
Don’t stalk anyone, but it’s perfectly fine to reach out to someone even if they didn’t reply to your initial e-mail.
You might want to research what the people you want to befriend are working on. Send them some relevant link or valuable tip that they could use for their project or include in an article to support their point of view.
Reaching out in this way shows you care, makes you memorable, and slowly builds up your “like and trust” factor.
As Mark McCormack put it: “All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”
So, be genuine and concentrate on providing value instead of spending all your time trying to plug your business. When people are ready to help you, they’ll let you know.
Action Step: Follow up with 2 people a day and try to engage them in a conversation.
It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than: “Hi, I saw this and thought of you…” End with another simple question: “How is your [name of the project] coming along?”
3. Nurture the Relationship
Demonstrate that you’re eager to help your new acquaintances succeed.
As your network grows, start connecting your contacts by introducing relevant people to each other. This action adds value and shows people how they can thank you back.
Don’t force it.
It’s a good tactic to first ask if someone is interested in meeting someone: “Hi Jack, I recently started working with an amazing video editor from Fiverr.com. Would you like me to introduce you? I remember you weren’t that happy with the contractor you worked with last time…”
Social media is a great way to connect and stay in touch but go beyond sharing links to their Facebook posts or retweeting. Send them a birthday card, congratulate them on their achievement, ask how their sick dog is doing. Be human. Just care.
Action Step: Demonstrate your thoughtfulness to 3 people a day.
Build your network of connections one person at a time: reach out, provide value, show them you care and watch your business flourish.
THE ULTIMATE ACTION STEP
Who can you reach out to today to show that you care? Who are 5 new people you want to meet next week? Leave me a comment below to share your experience of giving.