Business Corner: How to Make the Most of Referrals for Your Business
While mastering a slew of marketing strategies can work in your favour, the truth is there’s a much more powerful driver of sales: referrals. Referrals work so well because humans are social creatures. We tend to share information and make decisions based on the thoughts and opinions of the people that we trust, like our friends and family.
Here are some other reasons why referrals are so effective.
- Referrals lead to very warm leads. If a person contacts you based on a referral, they are already predisposed to trust you and want to work with you.
- 54% of marketers say that referrals offer them the lowest cost-per-lead of all their marketing strategies.
- People are four times more likely to sign on or purchase when referred by a friend.
- Referrals are considered the most trustworthy form of advertising, with 84% of people saying they trust what their friends and family recommend.
How to Get Better Referrals
Getting referrals isn’t as simple as doing a great job and waiting for people to spread the word. If you want to incorporate referrals into your business as a dedicated sales and marketing strategy, your best bet is to develop and refine a referral program. Here are some suggestions for how to get started.
- Just ask. Asking for a referral from a customer may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how few sales professionals actually do it. If you don’t ask, you probably won’t get one.
- Ask for referrals earlier in the customer relationship. The most effective referrals occur when the customer is excited about the product or service. If you wait too long, they’ll be a loyal customer but may be less motivated to spread the word about your business to their friends and family.
- Create a referral request template. If you aren’t used to asking for a referral or feel unsure about how to approach it, do some research on referral templates and create one for your business. This could be an email or simply a script for you to read over the phone. Having this template will help you feel more confident as you approach customers for referrals.
- Make it easy for customers. The easier you can make it for your customer, the more likely they are to follow through. Instead of just asking them to tell you about their experience, consider sending them a form via email or text. Just make sure it’s quick and easy to complete.
- Follow up when you receive a referral. If you end up connecting with a customer that comes through as a referral, a simple thank you can go a long way—be sure to reach out to the referrer to express your gratitude. This helps them feel like their opinions are valuable and they’ll be more likely to refer you again in the future.
- Offer incentives. If you really want to incentivize people to refer your business, create an incentive program that will offer them something of value in return for their efforts. It could be something as simple as a gift card or a small cash reward.
Regardless of how big or small your business is, referrals are always a valuable marketing and growth tool. For more tips on how to grow your business through referrals and other marketing strategies, reach out to your Business Development Manager.