How to Build Your Referral Network

referral marketing, marketing, customer serviceTo have a strong Referral Marketing System, you must first build a strong network of potential referral sources. From there, you can begin to build your system. So how do you build your network? I encourage my clients to begin by brainstorming. Typically every business owner can build a fairly large list. I challenge my clients to try to build a list of at least 100 people, if not more.

Where Do I Start?

Consider these relationships:
  • Your best existing customers/clients
  • Sources that have given you referrals in the past
  • People to whom you have given referrals to in the past
  • Members of your professional, service, or community organizations
  • People whom you have helped in some way in the past
  • People who have helped you in the past
  • Family and close friends
  • Classmates
  • Former managers, supervisors, instructors, or mentors
  • People with whom you do business with
  • People whose business benefits from yours
  • People whose business relates to your industry in some way
  • Members of business referral or networking groups
  • Anyone who has a large circle of influence
  • Others who serve your clients but are not direct competitors
Not all of these people will be referral sources for you. However, by starting with an exhaustive list, you have a greater chance of identifying the people who are already in your sphere of influence that can help you build your business. Once you create your list, divide it up into 3 sub-lists: an “A” List, a “B” List, and a “C” List. Tweet This

Segment Your List

Your “A” Listers are people with whom you already have a relationship with and who are good potential referral sources. Your “B” Listers are people with whom you may not have much relationship with, but they are good potential referral sources. Your “C” Listers are people with whom you have a relationship with, but they are probably not good referral sources for your business. These people can help you in other ways. Once you identify your “A” List, go to work. Start nurturing those relationships. Find ways to add value to these people, and start sharing with them how they can help you. A good Referral Marketing Strategy doesn’t just happen, it takes work. Go to work by brainstorming your list of referral sources. Invest the time. Commit to building those relationships. Your investment will pay off.

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