Gain more clients with a referral marketing strategy that works (and won't cost you a fortune).
What’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for a plumber? How about a place to stay on vacation? Or when you look for a new hair stylist? Chances are you ask a friend or someone whose opinion you trust, such as perhaps your electrician when you need to find that plumber. That’s the essence of referral marketing, and it’s one of the best ways to gain more clients.
Why does referral marketing work? There are different approaches to marketing, and they all have their advantages. With most styles of marketing, you, as the business, are trying to attract customers. You advertise a sale in your local paper or you sponsor a charity 5K and have your business name on the t-shirt. In referral marketing, however, you’re asking other people to do that for you. And it works.
Gain more clients when you make referral marketing work:
Go back to the previous question for a moment. When a friend asks you for a referral, what do you think about before you make a recommendation? Is it the quality of the service or product? Is it the customer service? It’s probably a mix of both. That’s why the very first step in referral marketing is running a check on your own customer service and product quality.
Do you go the extra mile to make sure your customers get their money’s worth? Are you and your staff approachable and friendly? If you want to gain more clients through referral marketing, you have to make your business one that people want to send their friends and acquaintances to. It’s that great service that builds trust with clients and customers. And trust is another vital part of referral marketing. Again, if you want people to refer to you, you have to be honest and fair.
If you just manage those two things, offering quality services and being trustworthy, you’ll go a long way in getting referrals, both directly, and through rating sites like Yelp or Google. That’s a passive way to gain more clients through referrals. But to really take it to the next level, you can take an active role in moving things along.
One of the most effective ways to get referrals is to ask. Anytime you build a relationship, or have a satisfied customer or client, ask for a referral. This doesn’t need to be a hard sell. Make it conversational. “If you know anyone who you think would benefit from our service, I’d appreciate it if you mentioned us to them.” Be honest. Be sincere.
These strategies are effective, and they won’t cost you a dime. But if you want to spend just a little, you can move your referral marketing strategy further, faster.
Offer a discount to your favorite clients for referrals. Give them 10% off for every so many referrals and expand the discount to the people they refer. Or maybe offer 25% off their next service appointment. The amount is ultimately up to you. But offering a financial incentive is one way to boost your referral strategy.
You can expand on this, too, by offering a free introduction, sample product, or consultation to new referrals. Make cards to give to your current clients and customers and ask them for help. “I’m trying to expand my business right now. Could I give you some cards for free consultations and ask you to pass them to your friends?”
Partnering with complementary businesses is another idea that can work well, and referring back and forth is also helpful for your customers. For instance, if you run an auto detailing business, partnering with a body shop would make sense for both businesses and your clients. To further incentivize potential customers, you can offer a discount or a free add-on for clients referred by one another.
The beauty of referral marketing is that you are using your biggest cheerleaders to help you gain more customers. People who already love what you do will love being part of your success.
Another way to make sure your business is taken care of is to get the right business insurance. Call your Pekin Insurance agent today to learn more.