You can spend money on advertising to reach your next prospective customer, but they may be closer to you than you think. The best way to get a new customer is to get a solid referral or endorsement.
Where do you find the referral or endorsement? It comes from those you already know, or others that know them.
How do you get the referral or endorsement? Ask for it!
Who do you ask? Here are six key groups of potential referrals and endorsements from people you know or should know:
- Existing customers; your relationship with your customers should be a wide open door to ask for a referral or endorsement. They know you and are happy with your product or service, so now is the time to ask who they know that may need your product or service. You want them to keep you at their top-of-mind with their contacts.
- Prior customers; your customers may not buy continually, so don’t discount those that may have purchased from you last year or further back. Some sales cycles are 3, 4, 5 years out (e.g. automobile dealerships). Stay in contact with them and asking for a referral or endorsement is not unreasonable.
- Professional support services; do you have an attorney, accountant, bookkeeper, banker, janitorial service, etc? These are all sources for referrals and they all have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. Ask them for a referral because I am sure they will be asking you sometime soon.
- Associations (Local and National); Join Associations that support your “customers”, not just your business. You may belong to an Association for your business to keep in touch with your competition and stay current on industry factors; but, you want to be in those Associations that support your customers, that is where a solid relationship will pay in sales.
- Collaboration partners; other companies that support the same customers and markets but offer different products and services. Develop a relationship with these companies and you can make referrals of each other customers to increase the opportunities.
What is your best technique for getting referrals or endorsements?
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