Getting referrals for your business can be one of the least expensive ways to build your business. There are many benefits to referrals that go beyond just the added revenue they generate. Referred customers tend to be better customers, and because they are somewhat informed about your business it makes it easier to start off on the right foot.
Some businesses suffer from a lack of referrals for one simple reason – they don’t ask for them. Asking clients for referrals should be done on a regular basis, yet many companies don’t. It’s easy to understand why some business owners don’t like to ask for referrals – they may lack what they consider the sales acumen necessary to get a “yes”, or they may feel it’s an imposition on the client. WHATEVER the reason, you need to view asking someone for a referral as a genuine opportunity for them to help a friend benefit from your service.
Getting to a “yes” is surprisingly easy once you ASK for the referral. In most cases your clients will be glad to help, especially if it’s at the right time – which is immediately following a successful sale or positive experience. It’s this kind of relationship building that strengthens your business and keeps it growing. Remember that the worst that can happen is that your client says “no”. If they do, it’s a great opportunity to open a dialogue about what you could be doing to improve the way you do business.
Aside from asking, there are other ways to get your company referrals, and they can be easy to implement and highly effective.
- • Start a blog and add fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. If potential clients view you as the expert in your field they will have no trouble referring you to others.
• Never underestimate the power of social media. Shares, likes, comments, etc., all raise your word of mouth value. Positive interaction with your brand will keep your business on everyone’s minds.
• Refer other businesses. Chances are they will be glad to do the same.
• Believe in your products and services. Your enthusiasm will spill over to your interaction with your customers.
• Don’t let complaints go unresolved. You may end up reading about them in an online review about your company and by then it’s too late to solve the problem. A complaint is an opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into your biggest advocate!
• Contact your customers frequently. Touching customers with new ideas, follow-ups and information will keep you top of mind, and make it more likely they will refer you to new clients.
• Offer a guarantee of satisfaction. When you do, it builds confidence in your business, making customers more likely to refer you.
• Implement a program that rewards your clients for referrals. For some companies it can be as simple as a coupon, for others it may be a monetary reward. Either way, it should be something your client values, and it should be commensurate with the value of the referrals.
• Educate your clients about your products and services. The more they know about your company’s capabilities, the more likely they will be to refer you to a prospect that needs your services.
• Acknowledge new referrals. THIS IS A MUST. A thank you note or email, call, or reward can go a long way to get additional referrals. If a customer referred you once, they will likely do it again.
• Give people the tools they need to make it easy to refer you. Cards for them to hand to others, Facebook shares, a referral page on your website – these are all tools that make it easy for you customers to refer you.
All of the above suggestions will increase both your brand awareness and referrals, but remember – the most powerful tool of all is to ASK. Ask for referrals, ask for repeat business, ask your clients how you can help them – and tell them you value their business. You’ll be surprised how willing they are to sing your praises and grow your business.
Need help implementing a referral program? Holland can help. Let us craft a message and referral program that will get your clients talking – about YOU. Call Bryan Holland at holland advertising : interactive at 513.744.3001 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.