I received a very interesting email from a prospective client today. It went along the lines of..
 
 
“I have a great product, great service, and a high rate of customer retention… but my phone doesn’t ring!!!”
 
 
Too often we think that just because our product or service is awesome, that we should get heaps of referrals or word of mouth business, right?
 
 
Even though this sounds like a reasonable expectation, it is only when a company builds referral strategies deliberately into their service delivery that we can truly rely on word of mouth.
 
 
Here’s some interesting stats for you…
  • Referrals convert at a rate of 70% or better
  • 63.4% of business surveyed said the received more than half their business from word of mouth
  • 79.9{% of those had no referral system

 

Think about it… your best source of high caliber prospects is your existing clients, yet nearly 80% of business haven’t developed a referral system!!

 

So what is a referral system? It is any repeatable mechanism that either encourages your clients to refer you to their family or friends. This could be a simple as making sure your clients have an ample supply of your business cards, or as sophisticated as a referral reward program. I’m not suggesting that we should give commissions for referrals, but I am suggesting that this is an area that is underdeveloped in the majority of businesses.

 

You can be as subtle as Apple were when they produced white headphones, while every other brand had black, or as direct as offering referral discounts. There are at least 100 different ways you can elicit referrals from your clients.

 
Here are a few ideas….
  1. Offer a referral price (discount) if a client is willing to give you some names to call.
  2. Create closed door sales where your clients can bring a friend.
  3. Create a refer a friend voucher that offers a discount on first purchase.
  4. Create some memorable gift that your client would love to share with their friends (a photo album of their house being built)
  5. Make giving referrals a condition of doing business with you 

 

There are dozens of ideas… the question is can you find the time to implement them?

 

Here’s how to implement them:
  • Commit to developing a referral marketing strategy that includes at least 10 referral systems
  • Make a list of moments during your client experience that it makes sense to ask for referrals
  • Set a referral target
  • Jump on our website and watch the video “21 of the most Practical Referral Strategies” 
  • Read as many books and articles on the subject. Start with “The Go Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann

 

If you need any help with this, don’t hesitate to get in contact

 

– Blog by David Guest, CEO & Business Coach