When I ask my small business clients how they get new customers, one thing always comes up: Referrals.
It’s true, referrals are very important to small businesses. Giving referrals helps other small businesses – and as a happy bonus, it also helps you.
A few things happen when you make a referral.
- The person you referred elsewhere is happy with you for connecting them to someone who can solve whatever problem they are facing. Your credibility with the person you referred elsewhere increases.
- The small business owner you referred a client to is happy with you for making a connection that may result in new business. If they didn’t know you very well before, they certainly will remember you now. Your credibility skyrockets. You created value for this small business. The small business owner is no doubt thankful – and very likely feels indebted to you. This feeling of indebtedness can be conscious or subconscious, but it will persist for several months – resulting in high likelihood of them returning the referral favor.
- You feel good. By doing something as simple as making a referral, you helped 2 people – the potential client and the small business owner. Enter the warm fuzzies. Have you ever noticed how different your work behavior is when you feel “good” verses feeling “bad”? You’re suddenly more productive, more focused, and more likely to value your own services.
I give referrals all the time. And guess what? I get referrals all the time. There is a balance. Giving referrals is a great way to deepen your connections with others – and those deeper connections commonly result in increased business for everyone.