In the events industry, referral business reigns supreme. Not only do referrals send prospects your way, but they come pre-qualified by your creative partners that you trust and respect. These days, people are highly influenced by word of mouth reviews from friends, family, and other vendors that they already trust.
With that in mind, nurturing relationships with others is an essential step to growing your referral business. Here are a few ways to stay in the forefront of your industry peers’ minds.
This is first and foremost: you need to be present in your local market if you want to begin gaining referrals. Attend as many networking events as you can, and offer your services whenever possible. In addition, give every event you attend your full effort. When you are working with a team of vendors, it’s clear who the hard workers are—and those are the ones who get the most referrals.
“Some of our best relationships (and the best referrals) come from organic and genuine bonds that were formed over the span of many events and networking meetings.”
While we do work with other vendors on a professional basis, there’s no reason not to become friends, or at least be kind and respectful to one another. Some of our best relationships (and the best referrals) come from organic and genuine bonds that were formed over the span of many events and networking meetings. Social media is a great way to build upon this outside of your networking and it can give others a behind-the-scenes look at your company life.
Say thank you
A referral is a kind gesture, so don’t let one go without sending along your gratitude. Send a handwritten thank you note to anyone who sends business your way, whether it’s a past client or an industry peer. Of course, one of the best ways to thank a creative partner is to send referrals back their way. There is truly nothing better than a mutually beneficial relationship!
Don’t give up
One of the most important things to remember is that referral business isn’t just about getting one or two new clients, it’s about developing and nurturing relationships with people so that your work and reputation gain recognition. And don’t think that it’s a one-time thing; instead, your referral business is something you will need to keep putting effort into in order to maximize your return.
There’s a lot of value that comes from having your network work for you, and with enough time and effort, you’ll start to see the business rolling in!
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate national president for WIPA.