While it is certainly valuable to invest in other marketing techniques, one of the greatest sources for new customers and clients is through referrals. This word-of-mouth advertising is particularly impressive because it doesn’t have to cost you a penny, quite unlike the promotional tactics that you may employ in a local newspaper or in online advertising.
The challenge, of course, is finding the most effective of way of acquiring new client referrals. How do you convince other people to send new customers your way? Well, there is one strategy that is remarkably simple but is also very effective: just ask.
You’d be amazed by how well this works. Each time that you can complete a project with a new client, be sure to thank them for their business, but don’t be afraid to ask them if they know anyone else who may be interested in your services. If your new client had a positive experience with you, they should have no problem recommending you to their business associates.
The key is to be helpful, but not pushy. If the new client feels obligated to send more business your way, they probably will put you in an unfavorable light and thus lower your chances of getting another new client through a referral.
Don’t stop at just getting new referrals through your clients either.
It is very well possible to use a “suggestive sell” on your existing clients. For example, let’s say that a freelance writer like me just finished writing an instructional manual for a new product. From there, the same freelance writer can offer to write the press release to announce the product.
You’ll never know what you can get unless you ask for it.