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Find and Leverage your Referral Champions
The Telephone Game
Referrals from satisfied customers are the best way to grow your business. In fact, 93% of customer identify word of
mouth as the best, most reliable source about ideas and information on products and services (NDP World). Clearly you
need to tap into your customers for warm leads, but you don’t want to scare anyone away by pressuring them to turn over
their address books or by making them uncomfortable with constant requests for referrals.
For best results, you need to have a plan. The following steps can help you to map out your course of action for
obtaining warm leads from your customers.
Step 1. Identify your Referral Champions – the customers who are most primed and most likely to recommend your
services to friends, family and contacts. But don’t be fooled - the biggest spenders aren’t necessarily the best Referral
Champions. The following checklist includes a set of typical attributes that you can use to identify Referral Champions:
 Has high customer satisfaction
 Has made a previous referral, either upon request or on their own
 Has a broad network, socially and/or professionally, through activity in the community and other outlets
 Is knowledgeable about your industry and enjoys being kept up to date on new products, services or styles
 Is collaborative and likes to share information on a variety of subjects
 Is enthusiastic and influential
Think about your client list. Who would be your top 5 Referral Champions?
Step 2. Get to know your Referral Champions. Once you identify who your Champions are, you need to gather key info
about them. Some you may know better than others, since you’ve been doing business with them for years. Others, you
may need to have a few friendly conversations with them where you delve deeper into their interests and activities.
Step 3. Cultivate your relationships. Once you’ve identified your Champions and their interests, take time to cultivate
those relationships. Advocacy can be boosted by giving special attention to those clients. Below is a list of simple things
you can do to give them the attention they deserve, and to win them over.
1. Sign them up for a complimentary subscription to a newsletter you produce to keep them up-to-date.
2. Send them educational articles on topics that would interest them – not only ones you produce, but anything you
see in a magazine or online that may be of special interest to them or help them in a real, relevant way.
3. Send a small gift and note to thank them for being a part of your business.
4. Discuss industry news, trends and new industry opportunities to get them excited.
5. Conduct events with Champions based on their unique interests

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