referral buildingAs modern modes of communication continues to bring our personal and professional networks ever more connected, collaborating with your colleagues to bring in more referrals for your practice means more than just educating your clients how to recommend your services to others. Today, some of the most successful professional service providers are growing their business by collaborating with every member of their network to ensure that every opportunity for generating referrals is taken advantage of.Marketing guru John Jantsch provides an excellent breakdown of collaborating with your entire network for referrals in his excellent book on the subject, The Referral Engine. In Jantsch’s view, emerging tools like social media are enabling just about every player in your practice’s niche to generate high quality referrals – not just the big shots.

Collaborating with Existing Clients for Referrals

Most professional service providers have traditionally relied upon previous clients for the bulk of their referrals, and these individuals and organizations are still the cornerstone of every successful referral marketing campaign. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming that your most promising satisfied clients are automatically going to rush out and start sending their colleagues to your front door. By teaching your existing clients how to promote your brand’s message to your target market, you’ll be well on your way to cranking up a terrific referral engine.

Collaborating with Potential Clients for Referrals

In addition to your current client base, prospects can also be instrumental in keeping your referral engine running smoothly. As business coach Michael Port points out in Book Yourself Solid, your potential clients will learn about your business at a variety of different points along the buying process. Many people will have an interest in your professional services long before they are reading to purchase your larger ticket items, and this audience can be a gold mine for referrals so long as you engage them properly and get them excited about your business.

Collaborating with Strategic Partners for Referrals

Establishing mutually beneficial relationships with professionals working directly in areas related to your niche can also be extremely rewarding when it comes to generating referrals. By featuring guest posts on your practice’s blog or promoting your strategic partners using social media, you’ll earn a powerful place in the good graces of industry leaders who will respond in turn by steering positive attention to your own professional services. Maintain active accounts on platforms like Twitter and Facebook is an excellent method of meeting like-minded colleagues that would be difficult to reach using traditional networking methods.

Collaborating with All Staff Members for Referrals

When it comes to finding killer sources for referrals, some practices make the mistake of overlooking the very people who are responsible for day to day operations. Does every member of your staff know how to spot opportunities to promote your business? Thanks to social networking and other forms of online media, every member of your staff now has the opportunity to take ownership in the growth of your practice. Find an opportunity to educate your team how identify potential clients and turn them into referrals. You’ll be glad you did.