The Xometry app works best with JavaScript enabled!
Injection molding done your way:Great prices & engineering support on simple and complex jobs
Xometry Logo
CapabilitiesIndustriesResourcesSuppliesBecome a Partner
Sign In
Cookie Policy
Xometry stores cookies on your computer to provide more personalized services to you, both on this website and through other media. By using this website, you consent to the cookies we use and our Privacy Policy.
BlogShop Tips

Top 5 Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Machine Shop

Business has been built on connections since the beginning. Here are five ways you can leverage this time-tested approach to grow your operations.

By William Krueger
 4 min read
SIMILAR STORIES
On-Demand Webinar: How to Win Work in the RFQ Marketplace
September 17, 2020

Tapping Into a Source of Business Growth

Referrals are a relatively easy way to expand your shop’s account list. Yet, many business people shy away from this form of business development because they feel awkward asking for help from their customers.

Don’t be one of them!

Business has been built on connections since the beginning. Here are five ways you can leverage this time-tested approach to grow your operations.

Reach Out to Your Customers

Your existing customers are your best source of new business. Whether it’s connecting you to fellow engineers at their company or passing along your information to a friend in need of a widget, your customers represent a near limitless source of potential leads for your shop. Here are a few easy ways to start the conversation with your existing customers.

After a successful job, follow up with a note, thanking your customer for their business. Be sure to let them know you’re looking to grow. Kindly ask for an introduction to a co-worker, friend, or other contact, or have them pass along your information. 

If a referral comes through with new work, follow up with the original customer with a thank you note and consider offering them a reward in the form of a gift card, branded company swag to keep your business top-of-mind, or a discount on future work.

Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become the go-to social networking platform for B2B decision makers. It’s focus on professionals makes it a great place to connect with your existing customers as well as find new ones. LinkedIn is a great place to send those thank you notes mentioned above, ask for introductions, and make strategic connections with future customers.

To fully leverage LinkedIn for your shop, you’ll want to do two things: build or update your company page and flesh out your personal page. If you’re new to LinkedIn, or want some insider tips, we’ll go into more detail in a future blog post about fully utilizing this platform for your shop. If you’re already on LinkedIn, make sure to connect with your existing customer base and let them know you’re looking to grow your business.

Establish Your Referral Worthiness

“Social proof” represents the confidence of your customers in you and your business, and the likelihood of referring your or introducing you to potentially new customers. A key to building your social proof is to share evidence and examples of your success as a shop.

To start building your social proof, ask your happy customers if they would be willing to share their story on your site, either in the form of a simple testimonial or a more fully-featured case study. When you receive these testimonials, be sure to share them on your social media channels, especially LinkedIn!

You’ll also want to curate a short list of your best customers that can act as references for you and your shop should a new customer want to talk to them before working with you. This is especially important if you’re a smaller shop looking to take on some work for larger businesses who might not be immediately confident in working with a smaller supplier.

Level up to a Referral Program

If you want to take your referrals to the next level, consider installing some form of a referral program. These programs are a dime a dozen. A lot of companies have built a structured referral program that offers incentives for returning customers and connections that lead to contracts. 

To start building your own, check out what your competitors are doing or have a look at a referral program you might participate in and take notes. Be sure to ask your customers what incentives they would like and would encourage them to refer more.

Consider your shop’s internal capacity to take on and manage a referral program. If you don’t feel you have the capacity, there are plenty of online platforms that can make this process less time consuming and easier to maintain.

Be an Active Referrer

Those who refer, get referred. A great way to build trust and confidence with your customers is to help them with your own referrals for their business. Ask your customers and vendors about the customers they seek, listen closely, and make relevant connections or introductions. By being an active referrer, you're showing your worth to your customers beyond just being an amazing machinist or fabricator.

The need for remote selling and networking is on the rise due to COVID-19 and making connections is more important than ever for a competitive advantage. Building a loyal network of fans and friends who want you to be successful is key as prospective customers are more likely to trust their connections than they are your marketing.

William Krueger
As a digital marketing specialist, William works with all forms of media from photography and video to content writing and graphic design to tell the story of American manufacturing. He holds a B.A. in Communication from Wittenberg University.

Quick Links

  • Careers

  • Contact Us

  • Help Center

  • Legal

  • Our Story

  • Press

  • Xometry Go Green

Locations

  • 7940 Cessna Avenue
    Gaithersburg, MD 20879
    240-252-1138


  • 7529 Standish Place

    Suite 200-220

    Rockville, MD 20855

  • 7315 Wisconsin Ave
    Suite 300 East
    Bethesda, MD 20814


  • 446 East High Street
    Lexington, KY 40507


  • 800 Winchester Rd
    Lexington, KY 40505


  • 11777 San Vicente Blvd
    Suite 747
    Los Angeles, CA 90049


  • 117 Wright Industrial Cove
    Jackson, TN 38301


  • Ada-Lovelace-Str. 9
    85521 Ottobrunn, Germany
    +49 32 22 109 8186
    www.xometry.de

Xometry Go Green Initiative
1.0M+
LBS OF C02 OFFSET

Xometry
© 2020 Xometry, All Rights Reserved