4 Strategies to Get Customer Referrals
Did you know that customer referrals are one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools you can use to help you grow your business? It’s true! Satisfied customers are more than happy to refer their family and friends to businesses that they like doing business with.
In fact, according to a study by Wharton School of Business, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products and services to others, but only 29% actually do. I believe that’s because business owners aren’t doing enough to ask their customers for referrals.
Case in point – how often are you asking your customers for a referral? Every time? A few times a week? A few times a month? Never?
If you’re not consistently asking your customers for referrals, you’re missing out on potential business. Research from Constant Contact shows that 82% of small business owners say their main source of new business is customer referrals.
What’s stopping you from getting business referrals?
Perhaps, it’s just the thought of asking someone directly, in person, for a referral that makes you nervous. (Which you need to get over, by the way.) But the other issue could be, you don’t really know how to go about soliciting referrals. So here are some strategies you can use to get referrals.
- Make it easy for your customers to give you referrals with an automated custom referral tool, like Tell’em’bout Me. Include a link to the program in the signature line of your emails or newsletter, or on your website, asking your customers for a referral.
- Teach your customers how to refer your company, products and services. While your customers likely would be happy to refer you, they may not know how to talk about your company succinctly. Help them out by giving them a supply of your business cards that includes your elevator pitch on the back. Or, give them some postcards to hand out that includes information on your company, your products/services, and how someone can benefit by doing business with you.
- Ask for introductions. Use your social media accounts like LinkedIn to determine who your contacts know. Go to the person and say, “I see on LinkedIn that you know [name of the person]. I would love to meet them. Can you please introduce us?” Follow up with the referral after the introduction is made.
- Send an email asking for a referral. A few days after you’ve made a sale, contact your customer via email. Thank them for doing business with you and ask them if they know of someone like them who could use your products or services. Ask them to send a link to your website with a few kind words about their experience with your business. And include your contact info. Tell them you would be extremely grateful for their help and include an offer for a gift, such as a percentage off future business, to the person making the referral if the referral ends up doing business with you. Plus, always thank the customer for any referral, whether or not you get any business. Send a handwritten note as a personal touch.
People are more likely to buy from businesses that they were referred to by a friend, and 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know. So get into the habit of asking for customer referrals consistently by making it part of sales and marketing routine.
To your success!