November 24, 2013
How do I get more referrals for my business? This was the question I received just a few hours ago via a Klout member seeking advice. Thinking about my current business and the fact that 75% of my new business comes from referrals I created an outline of what I have been doing.
- Start with GREAT customer service. This should be no surprise to any business owner seeking more referrals. Now more than ever great customer service is truly unique. And customers who receive great service can quickly become your best referral source and advocate. A good start to improving customer service is to think about the last great customer service experience you received and how you can adapt this experience into your business.
- The best referrals come from YOUR customers. Now that you are taking a fresh look on customer service and implementing better customer service strategies you should start noticing something different about your customers. The most obvious should be happy customers. This may sound a big cliché but happy customers to equal more referrals. It’s really that simple.
- Ask your customers for the referral! Some customers will automatically become raving fans for you and your business. You don’t have to ask or offer them anything for this to happen as they want you to succeed. This will only occur with a few of your customers and when it does make sure you acknowledge and encourage it. With the other 90% or more of your customers you will have to ask for the referral. To get things started make sure you have a conversation with your customers about referrals and let them know most of your business comes from customers just like them referring you to their friends and family. Education is the key as this 90% group do not think about giving you referrals if you don’t tell them.
- Create your own referral network. There are many organizations which can greatly help you; Business Network International is an obvious one here. Joining this organization will put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors in regards to referrals. You can also build your own network of referral partners by finding business with the same customers you are looking for. Meet with these businesses and identify how you can send them referrals. Once you do this and start sending referrals let the business know. Do this a few times and you should start receiving referrals from them as well.
- Remember to say Thank You! I cannot express and encourage this enough. Saying thank you is the most important part of the referral process. With each referral you want to thank and acknowledge the source of the referral. As your referral source matures and gives you more referrals you want to escalate your appreciation. You can do this in many ways and I encourage you to get creative.
Getting more referrals for your business should not be difficult or painful. Follow these steps and you should start seeing positive results in your referral marketing efforts. Do you have some great ideas on the subject of referrals? Make sure to leave a comment and tell us about it! And if you get positive results using these steps let us know!
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