Referrals: The ultimate way to grow your small business

"A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all."

- Michael Lebouf

Lead generation is a time and resource consuming process. Therefore, growing your small business can be a tough thing to do. Based on statistics, referrals are a more productive way of generating leads compared to cold contact. They consume less of your time and effort as well as the costs you’re likely to incur for generating leads. Also, more often than not, they end up building a chain of prospects for you.

Let’s say you found a gold mine near your property that is available to you at your discretion. Now, you are likely to ask a friend or family member to help you out with that and take their share. Your small business works in the exact same manner. You use your referrals not to ask for a favor but to offer them an opportunity. There is no element of force present in it and your job is to only present them with the opportunity. Whether they choose to make use of it or not is totally up to them. Following is how you can use your referrals to grow your small business and increase your wealth.

Set a target

Setting a target is important for you. It means knowing the outcome you aim to achieve from each one of your referral. Having a target in mind would help you in expanding your network.


Timing is an important aspect to consider: Asking your referral to help you expand your network is most feasible at a time when your referral may have benefited from this.

Top Referrals

Not all your referrals mean gold for you. It is important that you classify them into a gold, silver, and bronze category with the gold referrals being the ones likely to help you in growing your small business. Thus prioritizing is important.

Apply a Give and Receive Policy

When humans carry out an action, it is in their nature to expect a reaction or something in return. The same can be said for your referrals, when they do something for you they will want something in return. You can apply this principle in reverse and use it to your advantage by using a give and take policy.

Defining what you aim to achieve

It is important that you make it clear to your referrals what you aim to achieve and how it can benefit your referral prospects.

Giving Incentives

For every productive prospect generated through a referral, you can promise an incentive to them so that they may take a keener interest in this process.

Thanking your Referrals

A good way to build a working relationship with your referrals is by thanking them for every prospect that they help to generate. This will make them feel important and likely to influence them into helping you in the future as well.

Referrals are probably the best way to expand/grow your small business. By following the aforementioned steps, you can expand your network and ultimately increase your wealth.


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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