referbizAs business owners, there never seems to be enough time to do all the things you need to do. Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing, you may have to make the decision between learning a new marketing tactic, like using social media, or actually running your business. Whether it is sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, or using a mobile marketing campaign, or ramping up your website, the sheer number of new marketing options is almost dizzying.

Even though there is a vast array of new tools available, it still remains true that for many small business people, the best way to get new business is the old-fashioned way: Networking, referrals, and word-of-mouth.

Richelle Shaw whom I met at NAWBO meeting last quarter said “When I meet entrepreneurs they love to tell me that they get most of their clients from Word of Mouth – Great!  I love that!  However, they are normally stumped when I ask them, and how do you increase your Word of Mouth referrals?  Do you have a REFERRAL System?”

Word of mouth can be an effective marketing tool, with networking coming in not far behind.

This then begs the question: What is my referral System? Here are five tried-and-true ways:

1. Be visible and connected.
One reason some businesses get far more referrals than others is that they are out there, visible in the community. I’m part of a Ribbon Cutting group with the Metro Chamber of Commerce which has events 2 to 3 times a month and actively involved with a Kiwanis Group. Whether it is ringing a bell for the Salvation Army around the holidays, or a helping feed the homeless, that goodwill usually creates goodwill. Then, when someone has the occasion to refer a business, it is that visible business that they remember.

2. Under promise and over deliver.
If you want clients or customers to refer business to you, then one of the best things you can do is offer folks, not only value, but extra value. Do more than people expect, do more than you are paid to do. If you give more than you get, you can bet that you won’t be in debt.

3. Ask.
If you know what you want – simply ask! Of course you want to do business with anyone with a heartbeat – however if you are direct in your question such as “I’d like to meet Harry, CIO of Wigets R’ Us” your network will reply with what you are looking for.  Also ask for referrals. You will get them.

4. Refer.
There are several referral based networking organization here in the valley as well as some great groups on Linked in. Be sure to find the right group that is like-minded and encourages group participation.

The important thing is to share the love. It will be shared back.

5. Be great at what you do.
The most important way to get more referral business is to be worthy of referrals, and of course you do that by being great at what you do, whatever that is. By offering a solution to a problem as well as having exceptional service or excellent products at a fair price will ensure that people will want to refer others to you.


We love making new connections and networking. If you are interested in attending one of the several networking groups we belong to here in Las Vegas – and you would be interested in being our +1 then give our team a call at 702.979.1861 ext 2. See what’s on our calendars and lets mingle!