One of the best ways to grow a service business is through a steady flow of great referrals.
In our business, people who are interested in a new website come to us from all over the country. But compared to those who found us on their own, small business owners who have been referred to us by a mutual connection are far more likely to engage with us and be invested in the process from the onset.
Amazing referrals can arrive from lots of different places but consistently flow from people who know us best and have worked with us before. In addition to our phenomenal clients, we are very fortunate to be part of an incredible networking organization called Alive Networks, whose members truly get the point of networking. In fact, understanding how to network is a major criteria for being invited. As a group, we all realize that better networking is about more than just referring leads which results in direct sales. It’s about connecting people who mutually complement each other to help grow their business interests.
During this time of year, as we come up on Thanksgiving, we want to express our gratitude to all of those who have introduced us to their family, friends, and colleagues as a resource to help with their website needs.
To all of you, we say thank you! You put your reputation on the line for us, and we never take that for granted!
Great Referrals Come in All Shapes and Sizes
I’d like to share three short referral stories from the last few months. None of these are what we would call a ‘routine referral’ but we are incredibly grateful for each and every one that we get:
“That’s all it was?”
About a month ago, we received an email from one of our higher-profile clients introducing us to one of his own clients who was having “painfully slow” website problems. After a quick conversation and a look around his website, we were able to diagnose the issue and offer a quick fix that would solve 90% of the problem. Within the hour, the website went from loading in 20 seconds — to just under 2! No pitch for a new website, no complicated technical jargon, just a simple fix. Our client was generous enough to recommend us to someone they knew and cared about. He wanted to help solve their problem, and also connect us with a potential new client. We were only too happy to jump in and do what we could for them.
“We’ve never met.”
Just this week we started working with a new website client who was referred to us via LinkedIn. When we had our initial conversation, I asked “So, how do you know ________?”, and she responded, “Well, I actually don’t! We’ve never met.” Apparently, the two had been connected on LinkedIn for years, following each others’ posts, liking, commenting, and sharing, without ever speaking directly. But through those engagements and those minor interactions, they grew to know and respect each other. When the question came up if anyone knew a good website person, the relationship was ripe for our amazing client to send our name and make a compelling introduction.
“By the way…”
The third story happened just a few months ago. This referral came from a fast-growing startup in the financial sector. We’d been working closely with this company to help develop their overall messaging and website presence. One day, out of the blue during a zoom meeting, our client says, “Oh, I have to introduce you to someone! They’re just starting out and are looking into a website.” She introduced us via email on the spot. As it turns out this was a close colleague of hers from a former corporate life who had recently signed on with a brand new, federally-backed, energy project. Not only is this initiative potentially revolutionary, but it’s also likely this project will become one of the biggest we’ve ever worked on! It never ceases to amaze me how one of those, “Oh, I almost forgot” moments can turn into a transformative opportunity.
The emotional “It” factor
I recognize that one-to-one referrals can be more valuable to some businesses than others. One of the biggest factors that plays into this equation is the emotional connection between a product or service and its users. These customers are prime candidates for amazing referrals.
When people start using phrases like “I love it” or “I couldn’t live without it,” emotion has become the driving force for their attachment to your business. That’s what we strive for as a website design company. We work with people who are insanely passionate about their businesses because we’re absurdly passionate about helping them!
So again, to all of you who have been so thoughtful and have trusted us enough to work with someone you know (or even someone you don’t), we say thank you! We literally would not still be in business without all the amazing referrals we receive every year — and because of that, we are eternally grateful.
What about you?
Think about referrals for your business. Is there an emotional connection between your customers and the benefit they get from your products or services? Does it sync up with your website and marketing? If not, it might be worth a fresh look.
Now, if you found yourself nodding along while reading this and you have the kind of business that thrives on referrals, let us know how we can help! Send us an email and let’s schedule a time to catch up!
In the meantime, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!