You’ve captured a lead and successfully converted them into a paying customer. You’ve upsold them and cross-sold them at every chance, and maybe you’ve even managed to turn them into repeat customers.
For all intents and purposes, you have maxed out their value. Mission accomplished, right?
Not so fast.
There are other ways to leverage your customers beyond selling to them over and over again.
Today, we’re going to talk about increasing referrals from current customers—a powerful, passive, and cost-effective strategy you can employ with minimal effort on your end.
The best part about referrals? People are more likely to trust your brand when it is recommended to one of their friends or family members. The truth is that your word only means so much to a stranger. A glowing review from someone they know, on the other hand, offers a different level of credibility.
And guess what? It’s not difficult to set up a robust referral program for your business. Here are seven powerful tips you can use to increase referrals from your current customers!
1. Wow Your Current Customers
First things first. If you hope to generate more referrals for your business, you can’t settle for good. You need to make sure that you’re delivering a great service to those who already give you their business.
The reality is that no customer is going to recommend a company that offers an average product or service. So, the first thing you should aim to do is make a strong impression on your current customers. From here, it will be much easier to encourage referrals for your business.
2. Know the Right Times to Ask
There are plenty of opportunities to ask for referrals. Unfortunately, many businesses will make the mistake of asking for referrals before they have finished delivering their service, or months after the service is delivered—at which point, their brand is no longer top of mind.
As a rule of thumb, ask for referrals as soon as you deliver your product or service, and then once again when you follow up with the customer.
3. Learn the Art of Asking
Referrals are important, but keep in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to ask. Because you’ll need to ask often, it’s a good idea to create a loose script you can use to approach the subject effectively.
Ask customers if they know anyone who might benefit from your products or services. Do not ask for contact information so that you can cold call them!
4. Partner with Other Businesses
One of the more creative ways to generate referrals is to team up with other businesses. You can achieve this by identifying companies in your area that sell to your target audience or operate in a similar niche. If you own a gym, for example, you might partner up with a spa down the road.
Then, market the other business’ services by displaying their business cards, brochures, or coupons!
5. Incentivize Your Referrals
There are many customers who will spread the word simply because they are passionate about your business and the value you were able to offer them. Others may need an incentive.
So, integrate rewards—such as discounts, contests, and prizes—into your referral program. What’s more, you can generate even more excitement by holding a raffle event or party at your business!
6. Thank Your Customers After a Referral
Remember, your customers aren’t obligated to help you with referrals—they are already paying for your products and services.
So, whenever they recommend your business to someone, make sure you go out of your way to thank them. This will make them feel appreciated for their efforts, and it may even encourage them to continue spreading the word!
7. Always Remember E.A.R.
When in doubt, it’s helpful to remember the acronym E.A.R. This simple referral strategy, developed by serial entrepreneur and business coach Dan Kennedy, reminds businesses to “earn it, ask for it, and reward it.”
First, show your existing customers that you provide a service that is worth recommending. Upon delivering that service, ask them to recommend you to their friends and family. Finally, incentivize that action by offering some kind of reward. This simple but powerful blueprint will help you generate referrals at a much faster rate!