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There’s no denying that maintaining a successful managed services business involves keeping your existing clients happy, however, you also need to have new leads coming in the door as consistently as possible.
Without new clients and referrals, eventually, your sales and profit will begin to decrease, making it slightly difficult to keep your business running. Luckily for you, it’s simple to acquire referrals to your business!
As a managed service provider, customer referrals are some of the most valuable sales leads you’ll come across, as they’re a cost-effective way of growing your business. In order to acquire referrals for your managed services business, your clients will need to be sufficiently happy with your service.
When you already have satisfied clients who trust, respect and put their faith in you; they’ll be happy to tell other people how great your business actually is and they’ll encourage people to do business with you.
In addition, clients obtained from personal recommendation will already have a certain degree of trust in you, which was inherited from your existing client who recommended you to the new client.
However, sometimes you’ll want to ask for referrals, which can be a difficult process. You might be uncomfortable asking your clients to refer you to others, and many MSPs find it hard to phrase the question in a way that doesn’t leave them sounding desperate for new business.
Your nervousness or uncomfortableness can lead to asking quick questions just to get the process over with. In doing so, you end up with something like “Do you know anyone who would be an ideal fit for our business?” but often with quick and thoughtless questions, you’ll receive a response along the lines of “I’m not sure, but I’ll think about it.”
Then your client will go back to their own work and get busy with their day, completely forgetting about your request. Don’t assume this is because they don’t want to help you out, they’re just busy and they have other things going on. A referral for your business isn’t a primary priority for them.
How to Successfully Acquire Referrals
First, you must do the necessary work for your client and make them happy! The best way to go about acquiring new referrals is by becoming equipped with the names and positions of people or the companies that you’d like to be introduced to. Then simply ask for that specific introduction.
For example, you might say something like, “[Insert client name], I’d like to meet [person’s name or position] in your office, I think he’d be a great fit for our service. Could you help me with an introduction?”
Or maybe it’s a different division you’re looking to be referred to, in which case you could say, “[Insert client name], I’d love to talk with someone in your East Coast division. Could you help me with an introduction?”
Most people can’t resist when the word “help” is involved, because most people genuinely enjoy helping others. When you’ve done the work for your client, and they’re happy with that work; you’re able to ask for introductions or help with introductions easily.
Additional Tips and Tricks for Asking for Referrals
After you’ve done some research, and discover who you want to be referred to, say “[Insert client name], I’m going to give [person] a call next week. Can I discuss the success that we’ve had?”
Notice how you’re not asking your client for their permission, you’re basically telling your client that you already have a call scheduled. Essentially, this makes you appear as an insider, who already has a relationship. It’s easy for your client to say yes now.
By asking if you can “share your success with him/her”, your client is inclined to agree because everyone wants to showcase their own success. While asking for referrals is actually pretty easy, you shouldn’t forget to do the work for your clients.