10 Ways to Grow Referrals
in Under 10 Minutes a Day

by Laurie Hayes

While most businesses are spending enormous amounts in an effort to attract new customers, a select few use a strategy that has virtually eliminated the need for marketing. Building a business on referrals isn’t costly or time-consuming once you know the secret.

Even though it's one of the most powerful ways to build your business, most business owners don't send out personal cards because they don't know when it's appropriate, what to say, or they feel it doesn't apply to them because their business is DIFFERENT.

It doesn't matter if you're a real estate agent, coach, hairdresser, insurance agent, restaurateur, sales rep or dog walker, your business depends on relationships and if your clients and customers aren't staying with you for the long haul and bringing their friends, there's a flaw in the system.

A Technical Assistance Research Project conducted in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago revealed the following reasons why customers leave a business:

1% - Death
3% - Move Away
5% - Buy from a friend
9% - Are sold by a competitor
14% - Product price
68% - Perceived indifference

You can add together the first five percentages listed, double them and they still won't amount to the number of clients and customers you lose because they don't have a sense of relationship with you.

In order to create a bond, clients need individual attention, acknowledgement and a feeling that they are genuinely appreciated.

And the simple greeting card has the power to make that happen.

Following are ten creative scripts you can use in a card to strengthen your client and prospect relationships. You will be astounded by the impact this individual attention has on the number of referrals you attract, the loyalty of your existing clients, and the reduction in complaints, returns, and advertising expenses.

After a Networking Event - It was a pleasure meeting you at XYZ last evening. Thank you for sharing your time and telling me about your company's vision for the future. I have been fortunate to work with outstanding individuals like yourself and would consider it an honor to help you reach your vision. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call.

After a Customer Makes a Purchase - Thank you! It was a pleasure to serve you and I would like to acknowledge you for your superb taste in ____. My goal is to provide you with the best customer service you have ever experienced so you will return and confidently refer your friends. Please contact the customer service number below if you require assistance and you will be served with the utmost care.

After a Prospect Says No - Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide a proposal. Although we were not selected to be your service provider at this time, we are continuously adding to our array of services and may be able to serve you in the future. Please contact us as you encounter future needs and we will be happy to help you find an appropriate solution.

After a Telephone Conversation - Thank you for your time today. It was a pleasure to speak with you and learn more about your business needs. In respect for your busy schedule, I will contact you only once our evaluation is complete. It should take no more than two weeks. I look forward to the possibility of a mutually beneficial business relationship with you.

After a Group Presentation - Thank you for giving me the time today to teach your staff how they can improve efficiency without sacrificing quality. Simple improvements have a far reaching effect and it would be my pleasure to introduce your satellite offices to a tailored approach that enables them to create similar results. If you would be kind enough to refer your subsidiary managers my way, I'd be happy to provide them with the same personal attention I shared with your group.

After Receiving A Referral - Thank you for your kind referral. It's an honor to serve your friends and family and you can rest assured they will receive the highest level of attention and service possible.

After an Interview - It was a pleasure to meet you today. Thank you for your time. I delivered a portfolio to your assistant shortly afterward so you may explore the range of services offered in greater detail. If I can serve you in anyway, please do not hesitate to call.

Birthdays - Happy Birthday "name"! It's clients (patients/customers) like you who make going to work every day a reason to celebrate. Have a super day today and every day! I appreciate you and wish you the very best.

Anniversaries - Happy 1st Anniversary in your new home (truck/boat/business). I trust you've had a wonderful year and wish you many more ahead. If I can do anything to help you add to your experience, please let me know. I'm only a phone call away.

Thanksgiving - As this time of year rolls around, I reflect on all of the wonderful events and people in my life and think of you. Thank you for your business over the past year. It is always a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to many more years of showing my gratitude by giving you the best service possible.

Haven't Heard - It's been a little while since your last visit and I'm concerned. If you have simply forgotten, please contact my office today so we can ensure you continue to receive your treatment. If there is an alternate reason why you have not returned, please contact me at the private number below so I may personally assist you.

Find reasons to send your clients and prospects cards. A few cards a day should take less than ten minutes.

If you've heard of a new addition to a family, send a congrats card. In the event of a loss, express your deepest sympathy. If a customer mentions his 25th wedding anniversary is in two weeks, send a Happy Anniversary card.

These simple acts of kindness go a long way in building relationships that last a lifetime.

Replacing lost customers is expensive and time consuming. Keeping them is inexpensive and highly rewarding not only in terms of your bottom line, but in the quality of relationships you create.

Copyright 2007, Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source

About the Author:
Laurie Hayes, founder and visionary behind The HBB Source helps government and corporate employees break free of their jobs to live their dream of entrepreneurship. http://www.thehbbsource.com
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