A referral is the holy grail of marketing, often the easiest way to generate new business, so how do you encourage referrals from existing customers and contacts?
7 ways to encourage referrals
1. Be exceptional
Offer such a great service that your customers can’t help but refer you. Everyone loves to share a good experience.
2. Offer a referral incentive
“Refer a friend” type schemes, where your existing customer gets a reward for referring someone to your business, work well for B2C organisations. The reward could be a freebie or discount for your business offering (which makes sure the existing customer comes back to you) or a cash incentive.
In professional services it is not uncommon to offer a referral commission.
3. Make it easy to find referral opportunities
Make sure your customers know about all the products and services you offer so they can easily spot referral opportunities
4. Ask for referrals
Ask your customers for referrals. Helping others makes people feel good about themselves. The more specific you can be about the type of referral you’d like, the better.
5. Ask at the right time
Ask for a referral when your customer is most happy with your service, such as at the end of a successful project.
6. Give a referral
Reap what you sow. Give referrals to others, and they will return the favour.
7. Say thank you
Acknowledge and thank your contact for passing you a referral. Depending on the nature of the referral, this could be with a phone call, email, a handwritten card, or even a gift.
Invest time and effort into referrals and your business will reap the benefits. If you have any additional tips on how to encourage referrals, please comment below.