How often do you give referrals? If you are in small business, I hope the answer is all the time. But it can be hard to give referrals because the opportunity comes around and you donâ€™t recognize it for what it is until the moment is passed. So here are some ways to help yourself.
Start by making a list of people who provide you amazing service and / or people you would like to refer. This is a fun list to make because you get to think about all the people who donâ€™t make you crazy, who help you get through your day and help solve your problems. Make sure you have their full contact information somewhere easy to find â€“ your phone is the best but if thatâ€™s not an option, put their business card somewhere you can get to it easily. Think about each person and what they do really well either for you or others. What service would you like to refer? What makes them unique? Why do you go back over and over?
Once you have this list, you will be amazed at how often opportunities come up to use it. Just by being aware of who you want to refer and why will open you up to hearing people talk about situations where those services are needed. And being prepared with their contact info means never missing an opportunity.
Another way to help yourself give referrals is to tell stories. If you know someone or meet someone who might benefit from the referral but you arenâ€™t sure, share with them a story about your experience. We all share stories every day about this person or that so it is natural in a conversation and it gives the person an easy way to ask for the information if they are so inclined. It also means if they meet someone who needs that service rather than just a name, they have a story to tell.
Finally, my last recommendation is to set yourself a goal for how many referrals you want to give each week. By quantifying it and giving yourself a way to hold yourself accountable, you will be more likely to look for opportunities to refer people. Get out there and start referring people!