3 Ways to Make Your Business More Referable

It’s Monday which means its Make a Referral Monday.  Every Monday, I’ll cover pertinent details related to developing a referral marketing system for your small business.

In order to make your business more referable, there are a couple of key characteristics that you must competently exhibit.  If you’re not demonstrating these characteristics, you make it difficult for clients and strategic partners to lend their support and credibility to refer to you.

Deserve referrals. If your existing clients are not completely thrilled with your product or level of service, it’s a given that they are not going to refer many new clients.  Let’s face it—we’re always looking for ways to reduce the risk in trying someone or something new, so we’re looking to the recommendations coming from friends, colleagues, and even those strangers posting comments on various on-line social networks.  Now that we have the ability to provide comments on-line across a multitude of social networks and review avenues, it’s even more critical that you make sure that your business deserves referrals.  A couple of negative reviews on-line can break your business.   If you need to fix something inside your business to delight clients to turn them into a referral machine, take the time to do this.

Create and develop trust. When people refer others to your business, you’re borrowing their trust and credibility.   Trust is the reason a referral is given and lack of trust is the reason a referral won’t be given.  Trust has to be earned and it’s earned by setting the right expectations and living up to those expectations, or even better, exceeding those expectations.  Earn trust by fulfilling whatever commitments you’ve made—delivering on time, keeping scheduled appointments, honoring guarantees etc.  The flip-side is that trust can easily be lost by over-promising.  You have to be critically aware of what you can competently deliver and the point beyond that to prevent over-promising and under delivering.

Be remarkable! To build a business founded on referrals, you need to figure out the remarkable thing that makes people talk about you and your business.  When people are talking about you it virtually forces them to tell others about you—what you do and how you do it.  Nobody talks about boring businesses because boring people, boring products and boring companies are hard to refer.

What are you doing to ensure you’re referable?

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