Friday, July 13, 2012

Referral Statistics

A recent poll of businesses showed that 41.4% of businesses count on referrals for over 80% of their sales. It further showed that nearly one third of businesses receive less than half of their business from referrals, with the remaining businesses somewhere in between.

If you're in the "have not" portion of this poll, no doubt you're wondering how you can increase your share of referrals. After all, referrals are the most effective and affordable way of increasing your sales and growing your bottom line. What can you do to position yourself more like the 14.1% of businesses surveyed got 100% of their business from referrals?

The answer to that question could no doubt fill volumes, but here are a few quick tips:

1. Prove that you're referable. A referral is sending someone that you care about to someone that you respect. Have you shown yourself to be worthy?

2. Give someone a reason to give to you. Let's be real, everyone is looking out for their own bottom line. If you find a way to contribute to their bottom line, they'll be looking out for you too!

3. Be memorable and be educational! No matter what business you're in, it's competitive out there. Others are looking for the same referrals you are. Find a way to stand out from the crowd. Being unique isn't enough if your business community doesn't know everything you do. Make sure you educate your fellow business owners about your complete skill set; otherwise you'll be missing referral opportunities.

4. Maintain your relationships. It's a human weakness, what we see the most is remembered first. If you don't maintain a meaningful relationship with your business community, don't be surprised if they don't remember to refer to you.

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