In a recent blog post, I outlined the basic elements that I believe you need to take into account if you want to ensure that you are on your potential referrers' RADAR, and so increase the likelihood that they will send work your way. In this series of posts, I want to begin to break down my RADAR* acronym by looking at what each of the letters stand for in a little more depth.
So here, let's look at my first "R": Recognition ...
Have you ever found yourself talking to someone whom you would like to have refer clients to your service only to find that, as you mention some aspect of your service, they look surprised, and say something along the lines of "Oh, I never knew you did that sort of work!"? They may know that you are a "therapist", a "coach", a "psychologist" or whatever, but they have failed to connect the dots and link your work with possibly resolving a particular need of one of their contacts. Yet, you had "assumed" that if they knew of your professional role, they would obviously "know" who you work with and what you do?
This, or a variation of this, is an easy mistake to make. Maybe we've simply "hung out our shingle" and assumed that would be enough to bring the clients flocking to our door? Experience tells us differently, though, doesn't it? The reality is that we can't assume anything about our business really; we need to be proactive, from the start, in our efforts to let the world (and particularly our potential referral partners) know just what it is that we do, where and with whom ... and then make it clear to them just what they can do to help their clients to access our services.
Getting the word out to these referral partners can take many forms - networking meetings, giving presentations to defined groups, writing articles, advertising in targeted media, mail shots and personal contacts or introductions, to name a few - but what each of these methods have in common is that they build recognition of your services by letting others know more about just what it is you offer, how it can solve a given problem for them, and what they need to do to access it. This knowledge, once made clear to your potential referrers (or even directly to clients), ensures that your business is now on their RADAR, and as they encounter a client for whom your service fits the bill, they connect those dots much more easily, realising that you have what they or their client needs, leading them to the obvious choice then of making that referral to you.
To expand on these ideas and grow your business, check out my Business Breakthrough Programme, where I outline some key steps and present some tools that you can use to help increase your visibility and recognition factor with potential referrers.
* Coming soon ... "A" is for Availability