Your existing customers could be your biggest asset to getting more customers. Creating a using an effective referral programme in your business could provide you with a steady flow of new enquiries which are already pre-warmed to your business.
Follow these simple steps to creating a referral programme in your business.
Step 1: Be Clear on the Type of Referral you are looking for.
Are you looking for your contacts to simply provide you with a name and contact details? Or would you prefer the contact to be pre-warmed as to who you are and what you do? Ensuring that your referrer is clear on what you would like and helping them achieve that will help develop steady successful flow of enquiries. Arguably the most effective type of referral would be for your contact to introduce you directly to their contact, explain why their contact really must talk to your company and even arrange a two way or threeway meeting.
Step 2: Develop a System
Create a system to constantly ask for referrals from your customers and contacts. If you don’t ask, you dont get. Setup reminders as part of your customer journey or sales process.
Step 3: Timing is Everything
Making sure the time is right for you to ask for the referral is really important. You want to pick a time when the customer or contact is really tuned into the product or service that you are providing. If they are feeling positive about your company they are significantly more likely to refer you to their contacts.
Step 4: Offer something in return for the referral
Not everyone is motivated by money – some are and some are not. Ensure that you have the ability to provide incentives or rewards to those who provide your successful referrals. In some cases, cash is king – in which case have a clear reward programme based on successful sales. In other instances consider providing additional products or services for referrals. Other rewards could include a Hamper or even a bunch of flowers to say thank you.
Step 5: Follow up, follow up….. follow up.
If a small business owner says Referrals don’t work – it is often because they don’t follow-up. In fact that is true for direct sales aswell! Make sure that your system (Step 2) includes an effective follow-up routine, reminding your contacts about referring you, how to do it and why they should refer you to their own contacts. Remember the more specific your are the more effective your referral programme will be.