5 Tips for Getting Great Referrals

Your business deserves the revenue boost of free marketing. Take advantage of these five tips to help you get more referrals.

There’s no better marketing than free marketing that gets customers in the door. Getting referrals by word-of-mouth from customers or clients can be a boon for your business. Service businesses, especially, benefit the most from customer referrals and testimonials.

However, many small business owners have a fatal flaw: they do not ask for referrals, nor do they do any referral promotion. Here are five tips to help you get more referrals.

  1. Ask for Referrals in Person

    There is no harm in asking. In fact, you might even make it compulsory for your service business. At the very least, ask your customers to tell their friends and family. Simply by asking, you plant a seed in their minds that will blossom when someone says they need a product or service you offer.

    If you operate a service business, you might even have your customers or clients provide two to three referrals. They don’t have to do anything but give the names and contact, and you perform the sales follow up. These types of referrals from clients are great leads since there is already a connecting factor.

    Of course, it is important to practice finesse when you are asking your customers for referrals. You never want to be pushy or aggressive. Instead, you want to come across as appreciative – which you can reinforce through customer incentives, which we discuss later in this article.

  2. Send Referral Letter Via Mail

    You may have asked in person, but sometimes clients and customers forget. Remind them once in a while with a mailing. Send a brief sales letter or postcard reminding them how much you value their patronage AND their referrals. Give them the call to action to getting referrals to you.

  3. Make It Easy to Give Referrals

    Do you clients know what to do when they make a referral? Make it easy for them to get more referrals your way. Provide them with a stack of business cards, stamped postcards, or even coupons that offer a discount for first-time referral customers.

  4. Give a Referral Bonus

    There’s no better motivator than “what’s in it for me?” Your customers and clients may be happy to give a referral, but they will be looking for opportunities when they know they will receive something for their referral efforts.

    Be sure to tell your customers and clients about your referral bonus program. You might consider giving a gift card. Or you could provide a free service for every referral. Perhaps even a cash bonus will entice your customers to get more referrals your way.

  5. Get Referrals From Non-Customers

    Remember your networking mantra? Carry your business card wherever you go. Whenever you meet someone, hand them a business card, especially if your business comes up in conversation. However, more importantly for getting more referrals, tell your new contact that you appreciate referrals and would be more than happy to give them a referral bonus if they feel someone else might benefit from your services.

    Getting more referrals is not a chore, but a systemized process. Make sure you have a process in place that gets more referrals from customers or even anyone you meet.

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