Use Referrals to Grow Your Business

My friend Sally has a technical mindset, so she surprised me when she admitted having trouble getting a payment form to work on her website. Though I comprehended the problem, I knew I couldn’t be much help, but I did know someone who would, my friend Chad. I gave Sally his contact information and emailed him that she might reach out. I thought that was the end of things. I was wrong. What followed was a lesson in how to work referrals and use them to grow a business. Communicate Appreciation: Chad responded to my email, grateful I thought of him and for passing his name on to Sally. He also confirmed he would be able to help, which was nice to know. Last, he thanked me, not out of rote obligation, but with heartfelt sincerity. Confirm Action: Sally did indeed contact Chad. He let me know they had scheduled a time to work on the problem. This showed me that Chad took Sally’s situation seriously and respected my referral. This affirmed I made the right choice in recommending him and that I would not be embarrassed in doing so. Give a Status Update: Midway through the project, Chad emailed me with an update. He noted their progress and outlined the next step. This further confirmed Chad’s professionalism and made me glad I made the referral. Celebrate the Conclusion: A few days later Chad emailed me again, informing me that Sally’s website was now taking payments. He was excited, and so was I. He again thanked me for referring Sally to him and asked for my mailing address so he could send me something to show his appreciation. Though I told him that wasn’t necessary, I did share my mailing address. Give a Gift: The next day I received an Amazon gift card via email. I immediately redeemed it. Though I don’t know if Chad knew how often I use Amazon, he scored huge with his token of appreciation. Send a Note: However, this was not the end of it. A day later, I received a handwritten note from Chad to thank me again. Although his work with Sally was a small project, his note showed it was important to him. Ask For More: Chad said most of his business comes from referrals, and he really appreciated mine. He didn’t need to directly ask for more; he implied it. Knowing how much it means to him, I’m on the lookout for another referral. I’m not doing this for another gift card but because I know he will appreciate it and treat my referrals with professionalism and respect. That’s a sure way to grow your business! Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at, or call 800-901-7706.  Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.