Referral Cultures in Business

June 28, 2010 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Referrals are very important for many businesses. The more personal and one on interaction the more people will typically ask for a recommendation. Referrals are often all ready sold on using the services of the company they were referred to because of that referral. To increase the number of referrals that you receive there are things you can do.

First thing you have little control over and that is regarding the type of business you are in. Some businesses are more likely to be referred to others, such as home inspectors, plumbers, handyman service, etc. Other business types such as utility companies, gas stations, are never contacted as a result of a referral. Some of this has to do with the level of trust that has to be instilled upon the company that may get hired. Gas stations all sell pretty much the same thing, gasoline, and for roughly for the same price. I do not have to worry about the gas station attendant being competent or capable of doing a good job. I do not even need to talk to anyone to get gasoline. All I need to do is stick a card in the card reader at the pump and pump away. No interaction required. If your business gets minimal face to face interaction and the product is available just about anywhere for the same price not much chance for referrals.

If your business does get face to face interaction and the client is trusting that you are a decent person and that you will make sure that you will provide a good service then you are in a business that can thrive on referrals. Home inspections and real estate agents easily fall into this situation. There is a lot of face to face interaction, especially with the real estate agent. There is a lot of trust that is being given to the agent and to the home inspector to be open honest and to work in the best interest of the client. So showing good moral standards and being personable is a great start.

Asking the client about any special interests or concerns is another step that can boost the odds that you will be viewed as someone who is worthy of being referred to others. When you ask for what the client is needing you are showing beyond what most in your field do that you care and want to provide excellent service to them.

After you have established that you are worthy of referrals it is now time to let them know that you love referrals and that referrals are an important part of your business. This can be done gently though email contacts that have a single line stating “Thank you everyone for the referrals”. This lets them know that you appreciate them.

You can also let your clients that can benefit from referrals also know that you may be able to send referrals to them also. Ask them what a good candidate for them would be and let them know that if you can you will refer business to them. This will encourage them to return the favor and though even before you actually do it.

Let people know that you enjoy giving and receiving referrals when ever you can.

About The Author

Jim Troth is a full time home inspector in central Ohio and Education Coordinator for InterNachi Ohio. He has managed to grow his home inspection business despite the slowing of the real estate market in his area. Jim also provides marketing help to other home inspectors and other small business owners. Go to http://www.homeinspectionmarketing.com for more information. jim@homeinspectionmarketing.com

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