One question that I hear frequently from the women I support is “How do I find and attract more new clients?” After all, new clients are necessary for your business to survive and thrive. The good news is, “new” clients are closer than you think. What do I mean? Have you ever heard the old phrase, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?”
I’m referring to your current clients—-the people who have said “yes” to working with you and who believe in the service that you are providing. Your current clients typically have connections to people who may need your product or service. They have worked with you personally and can share their experience with others. The key is ensuring that the “experience” your current clients are having with you is a positive one so that they will feel comfortable sending you referrals.
My business is over 90% referral based. Most of the women who come to me are referred by women who have worked with me, either individually or in one of my Women’s Success Circles. These women feel comfortable sending me their friends and colleagues because they know first-hand what the experience is like.
I’m going to share some tips and solutions that I’ve used over the years to build my business into a referral based business. You may read each one and say to yourself, “I already knew that.” The question is “You may know it, but are you practicing it in your business with each and every client you come in contact with?” These are easy, simple steps you can take that will make a huge difference in the growth of your business.
Be on Time – This one simple step can garner you huge rewards in your client’s eyes. Being on time sends a clear message that you value your client. You are respectful of their time. My goal is to always arrive before the client does, get clear and focused so that I am ready to devote my time and energy to their needs. Have I ever been late? You bet (I live in LA where traffic is un-predictable!), however it’s rare.
Be prepared – Ask yourself a question before you meet with your client. For what purpose are they coming to see me? Do I have all of the documents, forms, contracts, and support materials that I need to make this time valuable and productive? With time being such a cherished commodity, it’s key that you come prepared with everything you need to support the client.
Underpromise and Overdeliver – Give your client more than they expect. In addition to everything you’ve agreed to do for the client, go the extra mile! Provide useful resources that can support their business or personal life in some way. If you have a referral or you can make a connection between your client and another person where they can both benefit, make it happen!
Thank YOU! – This is so important, however I find this being the most overlooked step. Make sure to “Thank” your clients for working with you. It’s true you provided a service that helped them but it’s key to thank them for choosing to work with you. After all, they do have options. Send birthday cards, call them occasionally to check-in and see how they are doing.
The Golden Rule – a simple habit to get into. Treat your clients the way you would like to be treated. It really makes a big difference in your working relationship.
If you choose to make these tips and solutions a part of your daily interaction with your clients, you’ll soon find referrals coming your way. When this happens, make sure you take that final step; Show your appreciation for receiving the referral! One of the ways that I appreciate referrals from clients, is by sending them a Thank you card with a gift of some sort attached—maybe a coffee card, etc. Last year, I hosted a “mani-pedi appreciation afternoon” where women came, had their toes and nails done, feet and shoulders massaged, along with champagne, wine, and cheese.
These are simple steps that you can put into practice right away. Take a moment now and choose the ones that you can begin implementing with your next client. You’ll find rave reviews and referrals coming your way!
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
Copyright 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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