We’d all love to be able to get more work. And while word of mouth from couples is always good, getting referrals from other businesses in the wedding industry can be a great way to boost your network and brand name.
It could be getting a wedding venue to recommend your DJ services if a couple has asked for it, or it could be having another celebrant refer business your way because they can’t work on a particular date.
The trick of getting referrals is to actually put yourself in a position where you can receive them in the first place. Every referral should be treated as a potential business partnership. So here are our top tips on how to get more.
This may seem like a simple one, but if you want referrals from other businesses then you need to build the name of your business up as someone who is trustworthy of a referral. When working with other businesses and with referrals, the performance of your service will reflect just as much on the business you’ve received a client from.
You should be treating every client in the same way, no matter where the business has come through. This means that you should be performing reliably and to the best standard. Otherwise, you could lose the trust people have put in you, and therefore lose more potential referral business.
Find your partner business
The best way to start looking at how you can get more referrals is to find your partner business. This is a similar business to yours that you can partner up with to send each other leads if you’re not able to service them yourself.
For instance, if you’re a quirky male celebrant then find another quirky male celebrant in your area to work with as your partner business. That way if you’re not available on a specific date for a couple and they can’t move their date to another one where you are available, you have a partner business to recommend them to. This goes both ways, which leads us into…
Give referrals back
A great part of referrals is that they go both ways. The best way to receive a referral from someone is to actually give them one as well! You don’t always have to be the first person initiating a referral either. If you’ve received one from another business, you can always send another one back their way down the track. Treat your referrals as a partner business and you’ll find your relationship will grow stronger.
If you’re not quite sure about the business you’ve received a referral from, then do your research! Not only do you want to make sure that you’re referring business to a trustworthy partner, but you also want to make sure that they’re sending you qualified leads you can rely on.
Get out and network
While touching base online can be a good way to introduce you, the best way to create a network of potential business partners is to actually network with them in person. Whether you’re heading to your usual wedding, a conference, or an education event, take some business cards with you and get ready to work the room.
Taking the time to network with other suppliers, even if it’s just meeting up for a coffee, can be a great way to grow your business circle.
Once you’ve connected in person, then connecting on social media or platforms like LinkedIn becomes a lot easier.
Create a list of people you want to work with
It’s not just about getting referrals, it’s about who you want to receive referrals from. Just like having a trustworthy person to send referrals to yourself, you want to make sure that you’re receiving business and potential clients from another brand that you can trust.
If you’re thinking about expanding your inner circle think about what businesses you want to be aligned with first. Then, if you haven’t met any of those suppliers before, start reaching out to plan some face-to-face meetings. You never know, you might be on their list as well!
Ask for referrals
Just like asking for sales, ask and you might actually receive! If you’re already had a referral from a business, there’s no harm in pointing out that you’re available to help out any potential client in the same situation.
You don’t want too upfront and seem demanding or you might taint your image with that supplier, but offering to help whenever they need it or offering to do the same back, is a good way to let them know you appreciate the partnership.
Generate online referrals
Your referrals don’t have to be just by word of mouth. Vouching for another supplier online is a great way to support one another. It could be in the form of an online review talking about your experience of working with them, or you could give them a shoutout on your social platform.
Again, you should be treating all of your referrals like partner businesses, so once you’ve referred a business they’re more likely to do the same for you.