There are two kinds of businesses - those that are easy to explain and those that seemingly are not. The business that is easily explained is also easy to be sold. For example, a friend of mine owns a great seafood restaurant, it's very easy to refer him and his business because people know what I'm talking about the minute tell them what kind of restaurant he has.
But I've got another friend who has an outwardly straightforward business, as a financial advisor, but it's really hard to describe what he does. He never seems able to articulate it, always turning something simple into something long and convoluted. Making it almost impossible to refer him, even though he is really good at what he does, because he doesn't want to be called a financial advisor.
Years back when I had a marketing company, I became known as the "Marketing Fella". When I wrote a book about marketing, my title was firmly established. Interestingly enough, I was generally referred new clients by people who had little to no idea what marketing was, or the services I offered, but they knew I was the "Marketing Fella" and the minute the word marketing entered any conversation, they knew I was the right man for the job.
In other words, it was really easy for them to sell me and promote me. Hence my entire business was built on simple, word of mouth referrals, over many years.
So my question to you, is how easy do you make it for people to sell you? Are you known for something in particular? Do you explain to potential referrers what it is that you actually do? Do you keep it really simple?
Or do you take great pleasure in being mysterious, because you are convinced that your business is so complicated that it can't possibly be explained in one short sentence? If you do, you will always struggle to get people referring you. I ask my coaching clients a very simple question, "how do I sell you?" If they can't answer this question, then they are asking for trouble.
As soon as you make it easy for others to describe what you do, even if it feels mundane, their endorsement is what does the selling. So you might be an accountant that specializes in helping small businesses to reduce their tax. This is pretty common, nothing magical or mysterious about this offering, so it makes this accountant easy to describe or easy to sell. How compelling I am with my referral is what will actually make a potential customer turn into a buyer.
Now ideally, you come up with an even better description than simply being an accountant that helps small businesses to reduce tax, but don't make it mysterious mumbo jumbo that no one can figure out.
I always come back to the simple point that if you make it easy for people to sell you, they will. Be able to describe what you do in a way that they will understand, even if they don't know in detail what that actually means.