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Finding Leads and Referrals for Your Business

April 10, 2015

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small businesses


As I prepared a speech for a presentation to college seniors who are ready to embark on their first professional job search, I told them, “Every single one of my jobs and professional career successes from the time I was 21 to 50 came from knowing people who knew of openings,  opportunities or other important people.” Even thought I applied for many advertised positions, made cold calls and sent out introductions letters, it was the personal connections that opened the doors in my career and still does.

It is the same when you own a small business or are a woman entrepreneur the economic doors don’t just fly open. They can be shut solidly not releasing until you realize customers do not just show up knocking at the door unless you bought into a well known brand franchise like Starbucks. For the money to start flowing into your enterprise you must network, market, promote and ask others for leads and referrals. In my opinion, asking people you know and trust or satisfied customers for referrals or leads lands last on most business owners marketing list.

Today’s blog post is to help you change that priority by giving you some easy, useful tips to get referrals to open the door to your business:

* Look at everyone in your immediate circle – family, high school friends, college friends, neighbors, your children’s friends’ parents, members of community organizations you are connected to, etc. and create a mailing list or call list so you can contact them about referrals for your business. They might be the target or maybe they know someone someone who could be good prospect. Don’t forget to look at your LinkedIn Community to see who is connected to you in your first and second circles.

* Before you make your calls, make a list of benefits people get from doing business with you. Figure out why your current customers use you. Look at testimonials. Understand the “problem” you fix for people that buy your product or service; then use those benefits to start a conversation with a potential lead. Make sure to ask them about their needs first so the conversation is not lopsided or too “pitchy.”

*Create a referral list, a call list and a calendar of call backs or action items to follow through after you have your first interaction with someone. I know sometimes it takes 5 sales calls or meetings to turn someone into a client or to have them return a call. By creating the system, you can stay on track to turn your referrals into revenue.

I hope these tips open your own economic doors to a brighter business future or professional career.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2015 1:28 pm

    I love your tips on how to use people you already “know” or are connected with to help build your business. The tangible tips on “how to” do this are perfect. I will be sharing this for sure!


  2. April 13, 2015 1:46 pm

    I am really glad this blog post filled with valuable tips can benefit you and your company. I hope it brings you more success. Thank you for sharing the post too. We appreciate it. Tracy


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