Starting in any business can be a little anxiety-driven. The initial stage of getting off the ground is always a challenge. There are plenty of ideas out there on how to get new business. One of the best ways to build your business is by fostering relationships with your current clients. If you offer outstanding service and do the job right, you will get referrals. Word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools a business can want.

Always keep your customer in the loop – give them information and updates and provide prompt feedback as soon as possible.

Take the time to learn from what they suggest – and find ways to improve in areas that might not be your traditional strengths.

Even after a deal is done, remembering your clients will show them that you think they are essential, that you appreciate their business. Depending on the client, you may want to offer personalized notes, email messages, website links and newsletters.

Not only is this good interpersonal relationship building, but it will also build your reputation as a caring professional, earning you well-deserved referrals and repeat business. For repeat clients, you might consider lowering your commission slightly, as a thank you for the continued business.

As much as you might want to, resist from asking clients to refer you. It’s cheesy – by providing exceptional service, you will naturally come to mind in conversation, which is far more genuine. Continue to offer services that will ensure community members can easily remember your name.

One way to do this is by being active in the community – sponsor fundraising events for local causes, family events, etc. Go farther by becoming a community resource – after all, this is your market, you should know it well. You want to be the person people think of when they need local info – like where to go for the best service in town or what family-friendly activities offered in the neighbourhood. Be a wealth of information for newcomers and established residents alike. Also, develop other sources for referrals: HR departments for corporations in the area and relocation companies are an excellent place to start.

When you do get referrals, regardless of where it came from, remember to send a thank you note to the person who referred you.

By establishing your reputation as a thoughtful business person who is active in the community and willing to go the extra mile to provide exceptional service, you will find your business grows on its own, and your reputation in the community will grow too.

© Wordscapes® (David Turner). All Rights Reserved.