Referrals are a great way to generate new business. When someone is referred to you, this person is predisposed to do business with you due to the trust factor.
For example, a couple of weeks ago I referred a colleague to a nonprofit association seeking help with social media and marketing. The president of the association set an interview with my colleague based on the fact that I had highly recommended her. He did this because he trusted me. (She got the gig, by the way).
Daniel Stanley, of Forghany Law, P.C. , in Lawrence, MA, knew that much of the firm’s business came from referrals, but he also knew they could take referring business to other companies to a much higher level.
The Forghany Law firm practices in areas of helping individuals and businesses with bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, civil law and criminal law and has contact with lots of small business owners due to networking at local chamber events.
“We started networking to build relationships with people,” Daniel says. “One benefit of having relationships with other businesses is so you can refer business to each other. Referring business is the missing piece of an effective network and referral marketing strategy. So, we took it to the next level.”
The firm first put up a card rack in the lobby of their office and told clients, who were business owners, that if they provided their cards, the firm would add them to the rack. “When people wait in our lobby,” he says, “they naturally migrate to that rack. But, that is pretty passive. I wanted to do more.”
Daniel then asked his colleagues in the firm to give him all the cards they had collected from various functions. He entered names, contact information and what each business offers into a spreadsheet.
“My goal,” he explains, “was to start giving out referrals during the course of every day conversation. If a small business owner calls, for example, and says he needs a new website, then I can refer him to a Web designer I have on my list.”
But Daniel didn’t stop there. He then got his entire firm involved. Daniel and his colleagues meet weekly and at these meetings they discuss if each person has done at least one referral that week.
“That’s our goal,” says Daniel. “One referral per person each week. With ten people in the firm, that’s 10 referrals a week, 40 referrals a month, or about 500 a year.
“By referring business to our colleagues, we build a positive reputation. Even if nothing comes of it, it’s still something that sends out positive vibes.”
I really like Daniel’s approach to referrals. As prosperity guru Randy Gage says, you can’t out-give the universe. The more you give, the more you’ll receive in return — in some way, shape or form.
Imagine what your business would be like if you were consistently referring business every week – and watching it come back to you.
Daniel, thanks for sharing your business tip. It was very nice meeting you at the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.