writes copy 25 Jan 2018

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

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Build credibility and goodwill with members of your network by implementing any of these tactics.

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The following excerpt is from Ivan Misner, Ph.D. and Brian Hilliard's book Networking Like a Pro. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

Most people would agree that one of the best ways to consistently generate referrals is to have mutual trust and some form of rewards and incentives system. There are many ways you can build credibility with a new connection or referral source, but it’s best to get creative with your options in order to reach them in the most effective way. Take a look at 17 of the most impactful ways you can build goodwill with members of your network in order to earn more referrals.

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

1. Send a thank-you card.

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Always a nice gesture, a handwritten thank-you card makes a great impression, especially in this age of electronic communication. Be sure to write a personalized note that mentions what you’re thanking your referral source for.

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

2. Nominate a referral source for recognition

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Watch for opportunities to nominate a referral source for an award. Local service and civic organizations often present annual awards recognizing contributions to a particular cause, and local periodicals often sponsor award contests for businesspeople. Find out which groups and interests your referral source is involved in, and check to see if there is any form of recognition associated with them.

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

3. Send a thank-you gift.

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A gift is always welcome. Like a thank-you card, a gift, however small or inexpensive, builds visibility and credibility with your referral source. Try to find out what your referral source likes (favorite foods, hobbies, or other things), and then send a gift that is personalized to his or her tastes.

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

4. Call a referral source.

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An occasional phone call is a good way to keep the relationship strong, if you take care to call only when it’s least likely to be an unwelcome interruption. It’s also a good idea to have a piece of news or some tidbit of information to pass along that will benefit or interest your source.

17 Ways to Encourage Others to Refer Your Business

5. Arrange a one-to-one meeting.

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Meeting a referral source in person is an excellent opportunity to learn more about his/her business and interests. Prepare some questions in advance so that the conversation flows smoothly. Be ready to give an update on your business and to ask lots of questions about your source’s interests.

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