If you are a small business owner, take a moment to think about how you get most of your clients.
Think back to your recent business successes, large or small. Chances are they were initiated or abetted by people who recently passed the “acquaintance” level and became trusted colleagues. Business is all about adding value – and building your network is the best way to add value for your clients and other partners.
I strongly believe a process that remains a key part to any business’s success is the power of referrals. Positive word-of-mouth can speak volumes about the quality of a person’s work. A trusted referral can make a significant impact on the growth of a business, where traditional marketing might fall short. Referrals can offer the most effective marketing return on investment, and arguably carry the most weight to a potential client.
According to an article in Entrepreneur.com, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/302229, the majority of small business owners rely on word-of-mouth referrals. I informally surveyed several small business owners in my network and heard the following responses:
“I’m 100% referrals. I get almost no organic traction and rarely go after RFPs.”
“Referrals are the predominant source of my work.”
“I would say between 50 and 90% of my business comes from referrals. People find out about me through friends, family, other clients and networking.”
The inspiration behind this blog is a trusted referral source for my business, Art Kuesel. Art is owner and president of Kuesel Consulting. His business helps accounting and professional services firms grow through more effective sales and marketing, lateral talent and mergers.
I met Art through a referral several years ago. When we met for coffee, we immediately connected over our passion for cooking as well as travel. Art’s clients are often looking for a writer to create compelling content, and when he had a need for a technology writer, he gave me an opportunity for a project. Art continually refers me to his clients for ghostwriting thought leadership, website writing and news releases. Art trusts I’ll be the best writer for his clients, and since I met him, he has been a steady source of solid referrals. I am extremely grateful that Art is in my circle.
Every small business owner can benefit from having a trusted referral partner. Think about someone you’ve done excellent work for who could be that referral source for you. Your work will make them look good, since they were the one who referred you to their client in the first place. Who has been a strong referral source for your business? Thanks for reading.