Bauerhaus Design believes in promoting a variety of experts, including guest blogger, Dr. Linda Hancock, speaker, author and psychologist.
In order to have a strong, active and growing business, you will need to have good referral sources and also be able to provide good referrals for your clients to receive any services that you do not offer. Building and nurturing relationships with others will result in a steady stream of new clients for your practice and satisfaction for those who are referred elsewhere.
There are many different types of referral sources that can be cultivated as follows:
1. Word of Mouth
For years, marketers have stressed the fact that the best form of advertising is through individuals who talk about your services in a positive manner. Former clients, their friends and relatives can personally attest to the satisfaction they gained by working with you. It doesn’t take long until a community forms an opinion about you and your private practice. I remember hearing the words of a lawyer a few years ago who stated “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to lose it”. Remember this and the fact that people frequently refer their acquaintances for assessment and/or treatment to the people who have helped them to solve a problem.
2. Other Professionals
At times you might set up joint ventures where the client benefits from having different types of services from people who are part of a team. In divorce, for example, a lawyer, psychologist and accountant may all work together for the benefit of the client. Other professionals may work in tandem with you and ask that the client see you before or while they are also working with them. For example, for years I have been completing psychological assessments for an infertility specialist who claims that he does not have ethical practice unless the couple has had this assessment done first. You may receive referrals from teachers who request that you treat students or from managers who are concerned about employees. No matter what type of business you have, it is important to be creative in setting up your networks and working relationships.
3. Referral Services
Some professions charge members a yearly fee which is used to promote you and your business. Often, the fee for this is less than one purchase by a new client. You might also choose to purchase an advertisement in the newsletter or magazine that is published by organizations where you hold memberships or offer to write a column on a specific topic for their publications.
4. Self Referrals
I frequently receive telephone calls or emails from individuals who have found my listing in the yellow pages or read one of my newspaper columns. Lately we have been asking each caller about who referred them to me and are surprised to find that almost a third state that they found me through an internet search. This is a huge marketing nugget. Make sure that you have good web presence!
Ensuring that you provide excellent services, maintain a respectable reputation, and work at developing good relationships with referral sources will help you to turn every day of your business into a wonderful adventure. You see, marketing is not a one-time project. It is a daily ongoing process.
Do you want to learn more about increasing your business profits fast? If so, download my brand new mini-book “Discover the Secrets to Increasing your profit by opening your business for success.”