- Posted by Judy Reynolds 25 Feb
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Imagine a business where every new customer who comes through the door comes by way of a referral from an existing customers. Because they want what the referrer gets, those referred customers arrive with a positive preconception and a willingness to buy what you sell… Sounds like a dream come true, right?
Having a referral system in place is the best way to convert current customers into a referring goldmine for your business.
The best thing about a referral system is that all new customers coming into your business as a result of a referral, are more likely to become referrers of the future – yet the referral system itself costs virtually nothing. We call it the referral movement!
5 Keys to Attracting More Referrals:
1. Become more “attractive” to your customers – Your customer service and the results you deliver must be outstanding. It is not about offering a great service. It’s about offering MORE than expected. You want to create raving fans. Focus on all aspects of your business including, the appearance of your premises, the attitude of your team, quality of your product and even the way you answer the phone. Take a look at the entire customer experience.
2. Give customers an incentive for referring their friends – Think of an exciting introductory offer for your potential clients, for example, a free dessert at your restaurant or a complimentary shampoo at your hair salon. Come up with something that has high perceived value of $50-$100 but low hard cost, say $10 or less. Can you create an E-book?
3. Actively ask for referrals – Start asking for referrals NOW. It will radically increase your results. The best time to ask for referrals is directly after a sale. This is when customers are most excited about your business. Develop a script for your team and do some role playing.
4. Develop a system for encouraging referrals – Having a systemised way of making sure referrals happen will improve your results even further. For example, you could provide customers a reward or gift (referral dollars or something tangible) for every paying customer they refer your way. Then for referred customers you could offer a “welcome gift” or deal. It’s important to offer the person being referred something special just for being the friend of the customer.
5. Set the expectation up-front – Let your customers know that you would like them to refer others to you when you first meet them. Simply ask that they refer at least one customer of similar calibre to your business when they are happy with the product or the service that you offer.
What you can do today:
- Ensure your team is delivering outstanding customer service in all areas of your business.
- Develop a system to ask for referrals throughout the year.
- Create referral incentives that encourage customers to refer their friends.
- Develop an introductory offer so that the customers’ friends also get a great deal.
- Identify other business associates who have a similar customer base, and endorse each other to your customer bases. Become business alliances through cross-endorsement – it can be highly lucrative.
A referral program is one way to achieve profitable growth – our GROWTH by DESIGN workshops identifies many more strategies.