Have you ever had a business or service provider ask you for referrals? They say things like, “Do you know anyone who might be able to use my services?” or “My business relies on referrals. Who do you know who you can introduce to me?”
Getting referrals for your business doesn’t need to be an awkward or random event. You can create consistent, easy opportunities to get referrals from your contacts and clients.
Word of mouth or referrals is a great way to bring in new customers while simultaneously strengthening relationships with your existing customer base. But even though it is extremely powerful and virtually free (or at most costs very little), very few business owners or coaches use it anywhere near its potential!
Consider this: if you got just one referral from each one of your clients, over the next 60 days you’d double your client base! What would that mean to your potential income and how many more people would you be helping in supportive and uplifting ways?
You see, getting clients who are referred by other clients is the best way to help you grow your business exponentially. In order for this approach to work, however, you’ll need to broaden your view of what constitutes a referral.
Here are 5 steps you can start to take right now to generate more referrals for your business…
Really appreciate your clients and let them know consistently that you value them
This is the most important, yet overlooked element of creating endless referrals. Many businesses focus more on profits than on people. Focusing on profits alone can be detrimental to success and ‘Word of Mouth’ success comes from looking beyond just profit into how you can enrich your customer’s lives.
For example, if you focus on how to increase your profit by $100,000 a year… but in the process, you lose key clients who were referring new business to you, then that “focused” plan is hurting your business and it’s not sustainable.
Action: At least once a month, take the time to communicate to your clients and show them you appreciate them. Send them something of value, something unexpected, a bonus report, a special piece of news you just found. Make it relevant to them and do it regularly.
Create an exceptional experience each time they deal with you or your company
If you can provide an exceptional experience for your clients, they will want to tell others about it. People desire special events!
Here is an example: There is a Financial Advisor who has a close relationship with a coffee shop in his town. Every eight weeks, he invites his local clients to a group education and financial strategy meeting and provides free coffee and cake. Every client who comes receives a card from the coffee shop owner with the message, “Thank you for stopping by today; we’d love to see you again soon.”
The offer is for a “buy one, get one free” coffee voucher. As a result, they are encouraged to return. The Advisor only pays the cost price of the coffee and cake his clients consume since the coffee shop owner sees this as an opportunity to win new customers. The cost of the event ranges from $45 to $70 depending on how many individuals are in the group. Around 8 clients typically attend, and the fee is around $45. A little more personalization can make dealing with your business that much more enjoyable!
Action: What can you do now to add little things that make an exceptional experience? Perhaps you can use the above example or something similar in order to network with other professionals while simultaneously providing amazing value to your clients. Remember, start creating exceptional experiences today.
Give your clients incentives for giving you referrals
You’re sitting on a goldmine if you’re being passive about referrals. Come up with creative methods for rewarding your customers for referring people to you. They might get free gifts, such as a 90-minute consultation with you, a massage certificate or dinner for two, or possibly even a financial prize (e.g., $100 Visa gift card). No matter what you choose, the key is making sure that whatever you choose to offer is something that your client will really be attracted to!
Sentient MD offers a $500 referral incentive to their patients for referring their friends to the clinic. Each time they refer someone who becomes a patient, they get a “Referral Incentive Credit” which patients can use towards the cost of services such as Botox, fillers. and other aesthetic procedures.
Action: Reward your clients for referring people to you. Come up with rewards that will be beneficial to your clients. If you work with clients who routinely use a lot of equipment in their job or enjoy shopping, an Amazon gift card might be a very motivating reward for them! And if you are stumped on a gift idea, just remember that money is always a great motivator as well!
Make it easy for clients to give you referrals
If you want to get lots of referrals, you must make it incredibly easy for your clients to tell their friends. Don’t expect them to go way out of the way to help you grow your business. Make it as simple as possible.
For instance, provide your clients with tools to make referrals, like a copy of a book you wrote to share with someone, or a referral card to give to their friends. Make sure that these cards are useful and easy to share; something like an invitation or a bookmark.
Action: Develop a ‘referral package’ that you give to your clients. Ask your clients to be an ambassador for your business as you wish to work with people similar to them. The package would include a professionally designed document explaining why referrals are important to you, and a series of referral cards/ invites/ links that your client can easily share with others and post to their social media accounts.
Always make sure to present everything very professionally in order to increase the perceived value of your offer/ services and to put your best foot forward with your new potential clients!
Ask at the right time!
When is the best time to ask for referrals? Any time…as long as you’re asking the right people! If you have followed the steps listed above…you’ve let clients know they are appreciated, you have consistently given them an exceptional experience, you have provided an enticing incentive to share your message with friends, and you have made it incredibly easy for them to do so.
At this point, you should not only be able to ask your clients for referrals at any time, but you should also receive very positive results from it as well!
Action: The key is to do something now. Draft up an email today and just send it off to your clients letting them know how much you value them, how much you have enjoyed working with them in the past, and include something that is going to be helpful/ provide some value to their lives.
Then over the next 4 to 6 weeks develop your ‘referral package’ and start to use it. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and take action…. Your business and new referral clients will definitely thank you for it!
Would you like help to create a comprehensive referral strategy? Schedule a no-obligation strategy call here to discuss how we might help.