Referring to Referrals

We all know that a referral increases the chance of converting a prospect into a client. According to Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend to your business. However, many of us feel awkward asking our clients for referrals. What is a small business owner to do? I have compiled a list of possible options for you. Try the ones that appeal to you the most. Good luck!

  1. Have cards, pamphlets, email templates, etc. produced specifically for clients to use for referrals. Make it easy for your customers to give you referrals. At the same time, you get control over some of the message that gets delivered.
  2. Wear something (bracelet, pin, rubber band) to remind you to ask for referrals. If your problem is that in providing excellent customer service you forget to ask for a referral, this technique may help remind you.
  3. Add “ask for referrals” to your internal checklists. You should have internal process checklists to increase the consistent quality work done for customers. Add “ask for referrals” to these checklists to increase awareness of this important activity.
  4. Systematically recognize and thank your referral sources. People like to be recognized. Behavior that gets recognized gets repeated.
  5. Offer referral incentives. This works for the same reason as above. Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.
  6. Turn getting referrals into a competition. Make a game of it. Compete with yourself or have your entire staff in on the game.
  7. After providing awesome customer service ask if your client has a friend or colleague that could use your help. Time is of the essence. Ask before the warm glow of your superior service fades.
  8. Add a “Recommend a friend” function to your website. Just another way to make it easy and convenient for your customers to refer to you.
  9. Join referral networks. A good quality referral network can be a referral powerhouse. Just make sure the value is worth the time and money expended.

I wish you the best in building your referral machine. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about referrals or other business matters.

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