One of the best ways to grow a highly successful business is through Referrals – people who come to you through word of mouth recommendation from an existing customer.
Customers who come through Referrals are the best customers you can get. First of all, they’re FREE. Secondly,
they tend to be your best spending customers. They spend more with you than a normal customer because they come through the door pre-disposed to feel good about you because someone has recommended you to them.
Here’s the big secret of success with Referrals.
Want to know the most effective, yet under-used, strategy to get more referrals?
Ask for them.
Boom. So many business owners have all sorts of mental hang-ups about asking for referrals. But most of those hangups are invalid, and what I’ve learned over the years is that those who ask for referrals get more of them.
Shocking, isn’t it?
Now, here’s another insight about customers who refer: the person who refers you once can and
will refer you many more times if motivated to do so.
The 80/20 rule is very much in play when it comes to referrals. Eighty per cent of the referrals you get will come from twenty per cent (or less) of your customers. In most businesses, the numbers are even more extreme.
But when a satisfied customer introduces someone to you, it’s really important that you show your recognition and appreciation.
A personalised thank-you note or a quick telephone call is a bare minimum.
Some type of thank you gift is usually appropriate and effective.
I send all sorts of gifts – it should be something that you do not ordinarily sell – and I make sure the gift is different each time that person refers to us.
It’s just the right thing to do.
You’d also be surprised, incidentally, at the negative results of not doing this. The client who refers once and fails to get recognition and appreciation will probably never say anything to you, but to himself and often to friends or associates, he’ll say, “Can you believe it? I sent that guy a customer and never got as much as a thank you.” And then they never referred you again.
This principle is known, in marketing circles, as the “attitude of gratitude.”
Whereas, trying to commercialise the transaction and offer your customers direct incentives to refer, is rarely a smart strategy.
There are exceptions to that and if you’re in a high volume B2C market, then offering one month free to both the referrer and the referee, or sending them both £25 of Marks and Spencer vouchers etc. can be a sensible approach to take, as demonstrated so ably over the years by Sky TV, Cineworld, etc.
But if you’re B2B, the personal approach is much more effective. People will refer you – if you ask them to – and an incentive won’t make any difference to their propensity to do so (other than possibly to reduce the likelihood because you’ve somehow made the whole thing a bit sleazy.)
Incentivising upfront is very different from sending a thank you gift after the event.
I am a Digital Marketing Expert and an EC Licensed Coach That Helps Painting & Decorating Businesses Increase Their Lead Flow, Sales & Profits By Working With Them To Implement ‘The Painters Marketing & Sales System™️‘.
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