Think about your newer clients. How did you land the clients? Did someone refer them to you? Did they do a search on the Internet and find you? Did they see an ad and respond? Chances are, you've probably met most of your clients through referrals—one of the most effective ways to gain business.
In addition to in-person conversations, another form of referral to rely on is content: email newsletters, blogs, articles. When people like your content, they forward it to others, and your organization's name gets passed along.
To find other ways to build up your client list and increase the amount of referrals you receive, we recommend two books: Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port and C.J. Hayden's Get Clients Now!. Both books mention the techniques covered in this article and much more. While you may be too busy to pick up a book and read it, think of how much it will pay off if you get referrals as a result.
How do I get more referrals?
Our management consulting firm has a great track record. Our clients appreciate our efforts as well as the results and improvements we help them achieve. We get repeat engagements. What we don't get are many referrals. We ask and we get "head nods" but little else. Sometimes, I think that our clients don't want to admit they need help from consultants. Would you ask your readers what strategies they use to get referrals? Do they ask clients for testimonials, letters or phone calls of introduction, or Web site case studies featuring the client? What do they ask for and how?
You have many options for receiving more referrals, but these three are the most reader-recommended approaches: