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Key to a Successful Contractor is Great Referrals: Here’s Who to Ask


As important as how you ask for the referral, is who.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of our regional sales managers, Oklahoma-based Brian Raines. Brian speaks to contractors in the field, day in and out. I asked what he’s noticed about the busiest ones. “What do they have in common?” I asked.

“The key to a successful contractor,” he answered, “is referrals. They can advertise all they want, but referrals are key.” Brian reiterated.

Here are 3 more referral boosters, on how to leverage relationships for the most qualified and consistent referrals:

Referral Booster #5: Start with customers who are centers of influence.

For the most “bang for your buck,” ask referrals first from those clients whose opinions have some heft in your industry or community. They may be more well-known clients—like community leaders and active business networkers—as well as the soccer mom, dentist or café owner who, through their daily goings-on, know everyone.

Referral Booster #6: Form strategic alliances with related businesses.

Reach out to businesses that provide complementary services to your own. As discussed in Are You Leaving Money on the Table? The Power of Partners, consider who already works with potential clients in areas that don’t compete with yours. If you specialize in coating garage floors, as many of our customers do, most garage-related businesses will be complementary, like organizers, interior designers, driveway pavers, and overhead door installers.

According to our team, since our polyurea coatings are both durable and UV-resistant , they are the application-of-choice for an indoor concrete surface exposed to outdoor elements like a garage floor, since colors won’t fade or yellow.

Referral Booster #7: Tend your relationships with customers.

This last booster takes more time, but it’s worth it. Many customers won’t give referrals until you’ve fully gained their trust. (When people pass a referral, they put their own reputation and trustworthiness on the line.)

Treat each customer contact as if it’s critical to your next referral (because it very well may be). Whether via sales call, ad, customer service, or email, each “touch” builds trust with your customer, and eventually leads to a valuable referral.

At Citadel, we believe that helping you build your business is the best customer service we can offer. Whether it’s technical advice on a challenging job, product guidance, or business-building know-how, consider us your complementary partner. How can we help your business today? Schedule a call with one of our coating installation experts to find out.

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