Increasing Client Referrals
Generating clients takes time, energy, and possibly money. To be successful at it, you need to focus your marketing efforts and expend energy on your outreach.
We’ve put together a short, practical referral guide that is sure to help you jumpstart your referral process.
REFINE YOUR VISION
First on the list is being clear on where you are going and why you are getting into the line of work you have identified. Your need for more clients is most likely driven by the fact that you want or need to offer your gifts in a greater way. Money is by-product of that offering. So do all you can to refine your vision until you can see it, smell it, taste.
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Take the time to fully imagine your ideal client from a demographic and psychographic point of view.
Demographics: geographic location, age, income and wealth, career, etc..
Psychographics: values, mindset, concerns, needs, desires, stressors, etc.
Grasping who your ideal client is will help you better pinpoint the direction on which you need to focus your energy.
SEEK WORD OF MOUTH
Directly network with people you know who have access to your market. Consider inviting them to lunch, a free demo, or a meet and greet.
Prepare yourself by studying these folks and identifying how you can collaborate with them to help the people in their own network. That’s your pitch. Essentially, you’re going to invite these contacts to move from acquaintances or colleagues to stakeholders in the success of your business. Your success = their success.
What challenges are they facing that you can help alleviate by collaborating with them?
Be upfront and tell them you have space in your practice and are looking for creative ways to help more people.
Consider directly asking them to spread the word about you through their network.
If current clients fit your description of your ideal client, chances are they know others.
Consider how you can ethically encourage clients to spread the word for you. While testimonials on your website are nice and help build credibility, what you really want is for these clients to tell others about you.
Try asking these clients directly: “Can you think of anyone who would benefit from my work? If so, would you be willing to mention me and give them my contact info the next time you see them?”
Then ask them what’s working for them, what’s not, what they want more of, and so on. There is no more precious information than the nuggets you will glean from this quick survey!
BUILD YOUR NETWORK BY GROWING YOUR DATABASE
Every person in your database can be seen as its own network. Think of how Facebook or LinkedIn work, where each person has a network of friends or connections. These networks often overlap, compounding the number of people within your reach.
Look at how you communicate with your database in a different way. Think in terms of networks. Think about how your friends or connections will feel if they get to share something you created with their own networks, and your contribution ends up helping or inspiring some of their contacts.
Set a lofty goal for the size of your database. Get creative. Mine those networks. Having some 1,000 contacts in an actively engaged database will have a compounding effect on your referrals.
Consider how to collect contacts in one place. Invest in Customer Relations Management (CRM) software. There are several inexpensive versions out there. This will allow you to score or rate your contacts in a way that will help you determine what kind of communication would be most helpful to them and how you can convert them into paying clients.
Keep the network engaged. Be a thought leader and feed the network by developing content and services. Draw up a plan to ensure consistent communication that keeps you and your services high in the mind of your contacts.
This could be an interactive facebook page, newsletter campaigns, special free events, presentations, and so on. Use your analysis of the ideal client to help you determine the most useful methods.
SET A FINANCIAL GOAL
Set a financial goal that is both realistic and challenging. What are the real benefits in reaching this goal? While some benefits are sure to be financially oriented, others will come from helping others.
FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS
Achieving the benefits is the motivating factor. Think about it, if you achieve all the benefits you’ve outlined, would it really matter if you reached the exact goal you put out there? See the goal as a target to help you orient.
Focusing on the benefits allows the goal to be adjustable rather than chiseled in stone. As you move towards your goal, the conditions around you might shift, requiring you to adapt to new parameters.
Changing conditions may be the very reason why you are now seeking guidance on how to generate more referrals. Both the inner and outer landscapes were most likely different when you started to build your practice.
Here’s to putting yourself out there in your authentic manner and attracting the ideal clients with whom to share your unique gifts. If you are looking to enhance those gifts, why not sign up for our Get Started with Nature Connection course?
Lastly, check out this article to learn our ideas about building a private practice as a Nature-Connected Life-Coach.