Blog Post - Referral Sources - Are you online or just networking?

Referral Sources?

Where do you go to find a trusted service-based provider?

Are You Online or Just Networking

If someone gives you a referral, make your sales pitch easier to sell by giving them something to find first - compelling website conent.

If you were to need a plumber or electrician, where would you go? What about a chiropractor? A mechanic? A carpet cleaner? Other than asking those you know directly (friends/family/coworkers etc.), there are various schools of thought when it comes to finding that trusted provider for the service that you need.

Some may go to a local Facebook neighborhood group on Facebook or perhaps Nextdoor, or perhaps even a local forum. The idea here is when a referral is asked for or an opportunity to give a referral/advice comes up, others will step up and say “oh, so and so is excellent, you must use them!” And because such a strongly worded testimonial was given, you feel assured that they are trustworthy. But at the end of the day, the “referral” is coming from a stranger as opposed to someone you trust – unless you happen to know them already.

Some go to their local chamber of commerce or other trusted networking group. The hope is that the members have been “vetted” by leadership as someone they can trust. But are they truly vetted as someone trustworthy are they part of the group because dues are paid. Was the person giving the referral obligated to give that referral to someone in the same group as they are or has the referral truly been earned?

In either case, neither, or both, most likely the person receiving the referral will want at least the website address of the company they are referred to, to do their due diligence and homework on the company before making a call to ask additional questions. This is if for no other reason other than to make sure the business is a legitimate one that will be around for a while as opposed to a fly-by-night/hear-today gone-tomorrow shell with poor customer service or business practices let alone poor quality products or services. 

But what if that person is looking for a referral for a product or service, but doesn’t have that trusted referral source? They go to the internet, right? But if you are not there, how can they find you? They don’t. Instead, they find your competition and that is a lost opportunity.

If the website does not help you be found via a search result in the internet, at the very least, your website can accomplish three things when someone is referred to you by someone they trust:

1 – Legitimizes the referral. Whether the referral comes from a person or a search result, a website provides visibility 24/7/365 for your business so you can be found. Visibility = credibility = profitability.
2 – Be available 24/7/365 to Inform the visitor of who you are and what you do as well as why you are different and better than the competition thereby making your sales pitch easier. You can also list your experience and passion and why what you offer is what they are looking for.
3 – Make your sales pitch consistent and more effective by the time the visitor calls you. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to close the deal on the first phone call/email without having to go through the same hard-sell pitch for the 1 millionth time?
That is what a well-constructed, fast, beautiful, optimized website can do for you – no matter how small a business you are.

Very simply, a website and its message content can be the reason the viewer calls you or decides to go somewhere else. However, the absence of a website arguably heightens the chances of them going somewhere else. Not only does the website help make verbal referrals from trusted friends/family/co-workers/networking partners more effective, but it can also actually expand your opportunity of receiving referrals by making you visible outside of that trusted referral network.

At the end of the day, as a business owner, you deserve to be visible everywhere online, not just offline, and inside of your trusted referral network.

Stay tuned on techniques to be where you need to be on the internet (where “they” might be looking for you) to combine with networking and how to snag those self-referral opportunities.

The Website Guy specializes in affordable, small business digital brochure style website design to drive traffic to your service-based business or physical storefront. Give us a call.

Rob Shurtleff
The Website Guy
We offer quality, affordable, brochure style website design services for local small businesses in
Lino Lakes, Hugo, Centerville, Forest Lake, White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights, Blaine,
North St Paul, and the surrounding Twin Cities Minnesota area.