All sales people know that the best way to generate more business is through word-of-mouth advertising. Referrals can be crucial to the success of your small business, and can save you multitudes of money as a replacement for expensive advertising techniques. Having a client, business partner, or friend refer you to another person saves you money on leads and helps build your overall network of customers (who can help refer you in the future too!).
Follow these four steps and you will notice more and more business referrals pouring in.
* Be easy to find and contact.
The first step to obtaining referrals is being easy to access. Having a personalized website, business cards, social media pages, and a consistently available e-mail and phone number are the best ways for people to know that you can be easily reached. When people search your name into a search engine, you want the first things to pop up to be about YOUR business. Creating a business Facebook page, LinkedIn, as well as a personalized website can be the best ways to generate easy customer traffic. LinkedIn in particular helps you network and connect with other professionals who don’t compete with you.
Being easy to find helps make it easier for people to refer you. Adding links to your website, or putting review options on your business Facebook page and simply asking a customer to review your business are easy ways to spread comments about your business. This helps your business look more reputable, and reputation is key when it comes to sales.
*Consistently ask for referrals
Many business people simply forget to ask for referrals. The best time to ask is when you are delivering excellent service and have formed a reliable bond with a customer interpersonally. Being shy in this aspect will only limit your referral opportunity. Forbes states that the best time for agents to ask for a referral is actually before a deal is closed, while the agent is still actively involved with a client and carries their full attention and trust. However, asking too directly can limit referral opportunity. Present yourself as a valuable resource, and ask a client if they are aware of a friend facing the same issue you just helped them fix. People are more willing to provide you with a referral if they don’t believe that you are just pouncing on them for a sale. In addition, describe to your customer what an ideal referral looks like for you.
Always keep your relationship alive with previous customers by keeping in touch. If somebody has referred you once and it was successful, keeping in touch with them might just generate a second referral. Recognize and thank your referrals by sending a thank-you note to let them know how much you appreciate their recommendation. This will strengthen your customer relationship as well.
Customers are even more willing to refer you to a friend or acquaintance if they are being rewarded for the exchange as well. Include an electronic gift card as compensation for their recommendation, or send them a thank-you note in the mail with an attached gift-card to let them know that their referral is greatly appreciated. One of the best ways to give thanks is to…
*GIVE a referral & GET one in return
Generating referrals is an art of reciprocity. One of the best ways to thank a client for their recommendation is by recommending them to somebody you know. If you know people that may need the products or services your customer offer, make referrals for your customer. Odds are, they will return the favor.
In a world where marketing and advertising is everywhere, word-of-mouth is the best way to gain clients. One trusted, credible advocate of your brand can gain you a client you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.
Gaining referrals is easier than ever with iBoomerang’s Referral Area! Learn how to use this area and you are sure to pick up clients!