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Marketing Ideas Small Business Owners Can Use to Get More Referrals

Many professionals and small business owners want more referrals. They know referrals are a big part of their marketing strategy. However, many people are reluctant to ask for referrals. It makes them feel needy, greedy or pushy.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!

What is the number one question people ask you?  It doesn’t matter what you do for a living.  The question is always the same.  Ready?  It is:  “How are you?” 
 
If you are like just about everyone, your answer is always the same: “Fine.”  That is a dead-end street.  Next time, use that as an opportunity to talk about your business. 
 
Try something like: 
 
“I’m great.  I’m working with a new client who (describe your client).  I’m helping him by (fill in what you are doing to help that client).  I really like working with people like that because (say why).”
 
Now here’s the important part. Ask for a referral.
 
“Do you know anyone who (describe your client again)?  If you do, let me know.  I’d love to help them, too.”
 
Need an example?
 
Here’s something an accountant might say.
 
“I am great. I am working with a client who wants to retire and sell her business in a few years.  I’m helping her get her finances order now, so she’ll be in good shape when she is ready to sell. I like this type of project because I know with my help, she’s going to get a lot more money when she does sell her business. Do you know any business owners who are nearing retirement age?  If you do, send them my way.  I’ll be happy to review their books and see if there are areas that need updating.”
 
Need another example? Here is something a restaurant owner could say.
 
“I am great! I just introduced a new menu. It has some heart-healthy entrees on it and my customers love it! I like providing food that tastes fabulous and is good for my customers, too. It makes me feel like I am really taking care of them. Do you know anyone who is interested in improving their eating habits? If you do, send them my way. Be sure they tell me they know you. I will be happy to give them extra-special treatment.”
 
With a little modification, you can also use this type of message in written communication (seasonal cards, e-mails, etc.) to your contacts. 
 
Give it a try!  You’ll soon find getting more referrals is a lot easier than you thought.

Pamela Starr is a marketing expert and the creator of The Starr Marketing Method™. She publishes a weekly ezine offering free marketing ideas. If you have tried marketing your business, and are frustrated with your results, check out Pamela’s ezine and free report: Easy and Affordable Marketing Tricks at: http://www.PamelaStarrOnline.com

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