Some time back one of our readers sent a note and asked about why he should not have more than 20% to 25% of his business from referrals. I promised to give a more indepth answer, and here it is.
Referrals are great, the icing on the cake, and the gravy on the meat and potatoes. But, they should never be the cake or the meat and potatoes.
Referrals come from people you do not know, living in houses you have never seen before, in locations you may or may not have been to. You don't know their income, their outgo, what kind of jobs they may have or what kind of jobs they want to do, the size of the family, how many cars they have, etc.
You don't have any control over what kind of job they want, the dollar amount, their ability to pay, the value of their home, the time of year.
Plain and simple you have zero control over those leads. You take what you get.
A good advertising program targets your market exactly. Because it is targeted, you can predict fairly closely what kind of leads you will get. It will provide leads from the customers you want, who live where you want to work, who make the money needed to pay for your services and appreciate the work you do for them. That is the difference.
So don't walk away from referrals - but don't depend on them. You need a good advertising program if you want to be in charge of your business and it's future.