The final step in Lifecycle Marketing may be the most important step, and this is to generate referrals from your existing customers to people that they know who can use your service.

If a customer is willing to give you a referral to someone that they know and trust – this should be seen as the successful culmination of all your efforts all the way from generating traffic, to converting the sale and delivering the service. Your customer is acknowledging that you are doing a job that’s worth sharing with their network and they are willing to risk their reputations by endorsing you.

It’s no wonder why so few small businesses are generating the number of referrals that they need in order to be successful.  There are many issues that we have to get right, and at time we forget that . However studies have shown that small businesses fail to get referrals for one simple reason. They don’t ask for them.

You heard me, most small businesses were so busy prospecting, nurturing and trying to sell to strangers rather than asking their existing customer for a referral.  It’s your job to ask for a referral and not your customers to give them to you.

It’s a simple formula – Every time clients do business with you, you ask them if they happen to know anyone that can also benefit by doing business with you.

Once you become comfortable with asking you’ll want to ensure that you are maximizing your referrals that you receive by making it as easy as possible for them to refer you business.

You can read our blog post on ways to ask for a referral.

If you are a tax accountant, you can ask people “do you know any small businesses that feel they are paying too much money in taxes?”

If you are a business consultant, ask people “do you know any small business owners who are struggling to take their business to the next level?”

Here is the summary of Lifecycle Marketing.