Ask any successful consultant how they currently get their clients and more than 90% of them will tell you they come from consulting referrals.
A referral is when someone, whether a friend, family member, acquaintance or client, refers another prospective client to you.
They do this because they care for you, respect you, trust you or know you can get the job done. Meaning you know how to get results.
And sometimes it’s all of these reasons combined.
But by far the biggest reason is that a past or current client was or is satisfied with the work you did for them. And when someone they know asks if they know of anyone that can help them with their PR, marketing, management, etc… your name is the one that comes up.
Referrals are not only the most common way of receiving business they are also the most effective and cheapest…
They are the most effective because you have to do much less to sell the new client, because the referrer has already done most of the ‘selling’ for you.
And since they are not part of your company they are also seen as being more credible. Remember, external endorsements from satisfied customers are always more credible than anything you might say to a prospective client.
They are the cheapest because in most cases you don’t have to spend a great deal of money on marketing to get referrals.
In my next post we’ll dig into some details of how to go about getting referrals.