If you're like many professional service providers, you get a lot of business from referrals.

You get them because you're an expert at what you do and you provide excellent service. Nevertheless, it's not as simple as that.

If you think about how you get referrals, you'll realize that several events need to happen first.

The referrer must:

 

  1. Know someone who needs a service you provide
  2. Recognize that the individual would benefit from that service
  3. Be motivated to make the referral
  4. Be aware of your existence
  5. Know that you can provide the service the prospect needs
  6. Think of you when the time comes
  7. Think highly of your services
  8. Believe you provide good value
  9. Find it easy to refer you

In fact, the referral process parallels the buying process that prospects use to make purchase decisions. And, just as you can accelerate the buying process, you can accelerate referrals by anticipating what your referrers will need at each stage and arming them in advance.

This article describes actions you can take to help referrers move through each of the following nine steps quickly—clearing the way for referrals to your business.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barbara Bix is managing principal of BB Marketing Plus, where she helps companies enhance their brands by capturing and enhancing the customer experience.