Referrals are one of the best ways to get more business.
What Are Business Referrals?
Referrals are pre-qualified. A referral is where someone directs or commends one person who has a product or service to another person who needs that specific product or service. A lead is different as it is unqualified and has no assurance that things will pan out.
Here are 7 strategies to consider when increasing referrals for your business.
1. Go the extra mile by exceeding expectations.
Any time someone interacts with your business, they should have a pleasant and worthwhile experience. When you provide exceptional experiences, people take notice, people talk.
Word of mouth is the most powerful tool available when generating referrals for your business, so if you want people to rave about your product or service, you must charm them.
Going the extra mile does not have to eat into your profits. Here are a few ways you can delight your customers.
- Don’t rush your customers into buying. Instead, spend time explaining the benefits of the product or service. Offer extras like a freebie, t-shirt or magnet
- Send friendly reminders via automated emails to help them stay on top of their obligations or maximise their purchase.
- Just be nice! You can’t go the extra mile if your customer interactions aren’t sincere.
2. People like to be heard, and they want their problems to be solved.
One of the best ways you can encourage more referrals is to provide top-notch customer support.
Here are some easy ways to make sure your customer service is in tip-top shape:
- Be responsive – Make sure you’re staying on top of things. Don’t let customers comments and questions go unanswered for too long.
- Be sincere – The more real you are, the better chance you have in making a customer happy. The tone you use and the way you act towards a customer can either make or break their experience.
- Be consistent – Create repeatable processes so that all customers are getting equal attention. Setting standards for customer interactions is a great way to achieve consistency.
3. Remember, people refer people.
It’s essential to build relationships with your customers. Your customers are people, and they generally refer a person, not necessarily the business.
When dealing with customers on a one-on-one basis, make sure you’re doing an excellent job of listening and making them feel comfortable.
4. Show appreciation to those who refer you.
Everyone wants to be appreciated. But it is particularly important to show appreciation to those who promote your business by referring more customers your way.
If you can find out who referred you, be sure to thank them. It will corroborate why someone referred you in the first place and motivate them to do it again, should the opportunity arise.
Building deeper connections will keep you connected with your target market and keeps referrals coming in.
5. Leverage referrals on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search feature makes it’s easy to turn up qualified second-degree connections where your customers can introduce you.
To get started, click the search bar at the top of the page, and then select ‘People’ from the drop-down menu. From there, you can filter your search by second-degree connections as well as additional specifics like industry, title, keywords, and location to turn up a list of potential referral opportunities. Doing so will help you find an ideal referral candidate to mention to your customer.
6. Create different avenues for advocacy.
If you get pushback when you ask for customer referrals, the first step is to back off and give them space.
Consider reaching out to them with a different offer to advocate for your company without having to refer someone: by writing a review, serving as a case study, or submitting a testimonial.
This method offers a lower effort option for your customer and will still drive potential new leads to your company, without risking your relationship.
7. Give a referral – it’s one of the best ways to get one in return.
Acquiring more referrals is not rocket science, but it does take one thing: commitment.
You must devote yourself to putting in the energy it takes to listen to what your customers are saying. Let them know you want referrals and answer any questions they have.
If you can do all this successfully, you’ll have a new problem: how to handle all the new business you get from customer referrals.