I often hear comments like “we would like to get more referrals but we just don’t know how.”
But in the end it is a rather simple task to get more referrals.
There are three things you need to get more referrals:
An engaged client base.
You need your clients to be thinking of you all the time or “front of mind” presence otherwise they are never going to talk about you to potential new customers (their peers, friends and family). It’s that simple.
When you are “front of mind” they will talk about you when the opportunity arises. Your task is to build the relationship to remain front of mind. It’s our business to help you do that. Then once you are front of mind you need to stay there.
It helps to have an outstanding product and deliver an amazing customer experience. But that only carries you so far. You’ll no doubt tell some of your friends and family about it but that is no guarantee that it will sustain client engagement for very long after the ‘event.’ You need to keep them engaged in order to get referrals out of them.
By Far the simplest, highest returning way to get and maintain client engagement is a printed monthly newsletter.
It Needs To Be Okay For Them To Refer
Quite frankly, you need to create a culture in your customer base that makes it at a minimum ‘okay for them to refer.’ If you don’t it’s like herding sheep. You are forever waiting for the first person to take action. Sheep naturally follow the leader – when you heard them, there is a waiting game while you gradually apply pressure so that the ‘first sheep’ gets the idea to do what you want. Then the rest follow.
This is understandable with referrals – your customers’ reputation is on the line when they refer someone to you. They want to know that you’ll not damage their existing relationship. Cos quite frankly if you stuff up, its not egg on your face it is egg on the referrers face. The best way to make it okay to refer is to demonstrate that everyone else refers clients to you.
They Need A Reason To Refer.
Most people like a little gratitude for their hard work. They have gone out and brought ‘fresh meat’ to you. So a little bribe to make their life a little richer won’t go astray. I recommend that you work out an acceptable cost per lead in your business and take that money to use it to buy gifts for people who refer. (Better if you can buy something with a higher retail value – say your Cost per lead is $20. Take your $20 and buy something that has a wholesale value of $20 and a retail value of $40…)
If you create a competition with a major prize where every referral is given an entry then there is another great incentive to for your clients to refer.
Bottom line: Getting referrals can be easy. Do a monthly newsletter print newsletter to get them engaged. Wok to create a culture where referrals are normal and finally, give your clients a reason to refer.