Marketing referrals are a great way for a business to gain new clients; however, not all business owners place much importance on developing a system for obtaining them. Referrals are the foundation that will propel your business to long-lasting success. They bring in more clients and in turn increase your profits.
Most businesses have usually started by word of mouth. One person visits an establishment, has a pleasant experience, and recounts the trip to a friend. The friend visits and then shares his review of the business with another. Businesses benefit greatly from referrals, but what business owners don’t realize is that if they created a system for actively seeking out referrals, their profits would be significantly greater.
Increasing your referrals is easy. In fact, people enjoy giving referrals. When people find a business that meets their needs and makes their lives easier, they relish talking about their experience. They quickly spread the word about the business that did such a wonderful job. This being said, good reviews depend on the type of service and product your business provides. In order to receive rave reviews, you must consistently provide quality products and services. Ask your customers to refer your services, and they will be happy to do so.
Referrals give you borrowed trust and credibility as well. Customers will go to you because they know you will take care of them, and they will have no problem paying for quality service. You will gain exposure to more clients in your target market. Referrals will also make your company better. If your company is going to make referral marketing a key strategy, then the primary objective for everyone in your company should be making every customer so happy that they will eagerly be sending all of their friends, family, and associates your way. As long as this is your company motto, you will significantly increase your number of referrals. Receiving great service each time will motivate customers to generate referrals for you.
Offering promotions or incentives is another way to receive referrals from your customers. You can create special pricing for clients who refer a set amount of new business. According to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, “If you can target a referral source that has influence with your target market, you can offer him or her a chance to try your service or product in exchange for an endorsement, a testimonial, or a place in the next association speaker panel.” Seek out business leaders in trade groups and organizations that you would like to target, and offer them your services or let them try your product free of charge. If they like the service or product, they will refer your product to their organization.
Consider donating a percentage of business acquired by way of referral to a nonprofit agency. Helping a worthy cause increases referrals while helping the community. Donors, board members, and volunteers will be happy to do business with a company that contributes to the community.
Giving away gift certificates is another great way to gain referrals. You can even supply customers with extra certificates that they can then distribute to friends and family as a referral tool. The last referral strategy is to offer a 100 percent refund on a specific purchase by referring other people or make a purchase. For example, set up your offer so that they get a 20 percent refund each time they refer someone. If they refer five people, they receive a 100 percent refund. (It would be wise to place a time limit on the offer.) This method is certain to increase referrals.
As a business owner, you must take the time to develop a referral marketing system that works for you. Once you have set up a system to generate referrals, you can incorporate it into almost any business practice, and then sit back and watch as your client list and profits increase exponentially.