How to Generate Word of Mouth Referrals for Your Business

To assist with your search would be easier if you shared the type of business and yet, the single greatest return on your time in business development remains as Word of Mouth.  This can be defined under your: Sphere of Influence ... who do your know, beginning with your relatives and friends.

Probably the easiest method is to find a map of your community - usually AAA maps are best.  You can go to the Internet but a hard copy map is always the best.  Once you have your community in front of you pin point a beginning point which is usually your office - SOHO (small office / home office) if that is your case.

With your map in front of you and the point of origin spiral out to lay down a path.

Begin with your targets.  Again, without knowing your industry - your service this will be a very broad stroking spiral.  Simply start by heading out to the business community in your immediate neighborhood and introduce yourself to other merchants but very casually.  Walk into a business simply with:

"Hello, my name is ____ and I have just started my WIDGET business and I want to meet my neighbors.  What is it that you do here?"

Be very (sincerely) interested in what they do.  This should not appear to be a sales opportunity but more fact finding ending with the request:  "Do you know of anyone that might be interested IN WIDGETS?"

At this point you have probably started a relationship and if you have not come across too strong you should find the beginnings of building your business; either direct or via some Word of Mouth referrals.

There is also magic taking place.  Being that you are not actually looking for a sale - just a referral, you can use these introductions to practice your pitch, to develop higher levels of ease in your delivery and this ease will transmit to increasing sales once you are actually in a sales opportunity.

Finally, whether just introducing yourself to your neighbors or actually making a pitch, end each session by asking for 3 referrals.  You will not always get 3, if any, but you will be amazed as to how quickly you will be building a solid database.

Word of mouth will always be the single best method as there is nothing more powerful than:

"Hi, my name is ____ and Charlie said I should call you."

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