In this series of lessons I’m talking about what you can do now your project is over to ensure it leads to more work. One such tactic is referrals, which is another way of asking your client to recommend you.
Are They Happy?
The first step is to ensure your client is happy in the first place. Bear in mind it can be a little off putting if you’re asking your client for a testimonial, referral, blood sample. Don’t overload the client straight after you’ve finished. A casual catch up call to ensure they are still happy with what you’ve provided them with will help you scope out if there’s any more work with them. It’s here that you can and also to see if they know anyone else who might need your services.
Should You Pay?
One question when it comes to referrals is whether or not you should offer up a finder’s fee. Generally I would suggest this is a nice gesture, and is always a topper for your own services (you have your own cost and their bill is on top) sometimes this can add a layer of complexity that you could live without, but considering all the hard work that goes into getting work, a small payment is often easier.
If you’re going to offer a referral fee then make it plain and simple what the terms are on that. What you definitely don’t want is to pay for soft leads that are not getting you anywhere.
Do Act On It
Nothing is worse in my book then when you pass someone on a lead and they don’t chase it up..or don’t get back to you to thank you for it! It’s very important to acknowledge and thank people who have taken the time to think about your business, even if their lead is not appropriate the least you can do is contact the person and have a discussion.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
I think sometimes suppliers/contractors are a little guilty of being selfish. They try and squeeze as much as they can out of their client, which you can’t blame them for, BUT they don’t give back. An easy way to keep in front of your client is just to send them appropriate links, things you think they’d find interesting and if you have a lead pass it on. It’s important that you see your clients as business partners and not customers, after all if they fail they won’t be able to hire you!
The first and easiest step of getting a referral is simply to ask the question “would you know any other businesses that could benefit from our services.”