You know the mantra: “Referral business is the best business.” After all, a referred prospect is more likely to listen, trust what you say and buy from you. But where do you start, and how can you keep at it? One good option is to begin a monthly advocate program.

Start with a genealogy chart that tracks your customers. Look back and see who or what was the source of your current customers, especially new additions in the last year. Most likely you’ll find five to 20 primary sources, from other current clients to business associates, vendors or friends.

List these referral sources and plan to stay in touch with them regularly, every month or so. Send them something of value — not a brochure or promotional piece, but something they will use. Could be a book, an article, a gift certificate for a breakfast or a lunch.

The goal is to help them improve their business, not yours. Think about what would help them grow professionally or personally. It won’t take long before they return the favor and help you grow yours.

Source: From a post by Colleen Francis. To learn more, visit

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