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Growing your business with referrals

Most businesses benefit from “word-of-mouth” referrals. They are one of best ways to get your name on the tip of everyone’s tongue, along with running a terrific business for many years.

Here are a few tips that may speed up the referral process and increase the number of people who will remember your business the next time someone asks them for a referral:

Remind customers you exist
Keep your name and number in front of past customers so they won’t forget about you. Maintaining a mailing list database, and keep in touch regularly. Send postcards when you have special offers, write a newsletter, or just drop a note or send holiday greetings. With e-mail, it is more cost effective to send messages. Contact past customers no less than twice a year and no more than every other month.

Ask customers for referrals
Tell customers that you really do appreciate them giving referrals, and then surprise them with a gift or a “Thank You” card when they do.

Testimonials
You can use testimonials from past customers in your marketing materials or on your website or advertising. The fact that other customers let you use their name adds credibility and trust and serves as another kind of “referral.”

Ask customers and clients for feedback regularly
By soliciting suggestions — and responding to them — you can let customers know you really care about them and want to meet their needs; you can establish a relationship with them.

Do exceptional work
When you do something that not only satisfies a customer but delights and surprises them, they will remember it, and they will become part of your “word-of-mouth” advertising campaign.

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