Last time in this space, I wrote about how one should not overlook seeking referrals as a way to gain new clients and how clients, both old and new, can be serve as trusted sources and therefore are great ways to sell your services to those they know. The people you already work with, however, are not the only way to get yourself out there, though. And this is an idea that many may have forgotten over the last two-plus years when in-person networking became impossible at times.
One of the best ways to get your name out there to new people can be through fellow professionals. This can even be true if you are in a group consisting of other people in the same industry. You may have a certain area of interest and/or expertise that others do not possess. When this is something that others do not share, you can position yourself as the expert in that certain area, the person others send potential clients to when they have an issue there.
There is also value in joining professional organizations that go beyond a single industry, such as chambers of commerce. Now obviously everyone involved in these groups will not need your services – be it a service they simply never need to utilize or maybe they already have relationships that satisfy those needs. But of course, others might. And even if they are not actively in the market for what you do, you will be making relationships with other people who think with a business-owner mindset. They can be more prone to see issues that others have and more prone to sell services that can fix those. And if you can become known as someone with the skills to solve those problems, they could be sending people your way.
I want to talk about one other set of potential referrals here, and that is people who used to work with your business. Granted, some of these people move on to similar positions in similar organizations and will not be interested in steering potential business your way. Others, however, will have left for other reasons – be it retirement, spending more time at home, moving into another industry – and you can remain a go-to for them when they, or others they know, have a need for your services. In those situations, it can prove lucrative to continue relationships with those people after they leave.
No matter where these referrals come from, though, they all start in the same place. You must believe that you can help others with their issues. You must position and sell yourself as that type of problem solver. Don’t be afraid to keep that mindset no matter where you are and then let the idea of referrals snowball from there.
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