Referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations can bring your business some of the hottest leads you receive, since people tend to trust their peers and friends. Some of that trust is passed on to your business or brand when you receive a client referral, so you have a head start getting sales based on these leads. Reviews and testimonials are also powerful, but you really can’t beat direct referrals for quality, qualified leads.
Here are some word of mouth marketing tips to help you generate client referrals:
- Incorporate referrals into your services agreement: Service agreements are the foundation for building solid relationships between both parties. When both parties are looking to engage in an agreement, it is a perfect time to incorporate the exchange of qualified referrals in return for your firm’s ability to deliver results. To be clear, client referrals are not to be provided at the date of agreement, rather when your firm delivers results within a given timeframe, i.e. quarterly, biannually, etc. This approach will demonstrate your firm’s dedication to providing performance-based results.
- Ask clients for referrals: It doesn’t have to be awkward if your wording and timing are right. Use upbeat calls to action in confirmation emails or on invoices. You can also set up incentives or a loyalty program, and list details on your website or social media so clients will decide to participate. You might opt to launch a specific email campaign for referrals. Make sure to reach out to happy clients only in this case.
- Be responsive to client feedback: Nurture a client relationship by focusing on their needs and expectations. Regularly check-in and respond to client feedback. Perform client satisfaction surveys via online software to get a pulse on your performance. Understand areas where you are excelling and where you need improvement. Carefully construct the survey to make sure you are going to get results that will benefit both parties.
- Reward current clients and their referred leads: By offering a complimentary consultation on the referred person’s first project, you’re adding to the social capital that the referrer enjoys.
- Become a resource: Share expert information on your blog, downloadable premium content, how-to videos, etc. You’ll establish trust and expert credentials this way. You can ask for referrals to your website's library of insider information when clients hear of someone who needs your services. This keyword rich content is also, of course, valuable for the self-referrals brought to your door by search engines.
- Create evangelists on social media: Social media can amplify the reach of a testimonial or good review. Use a special landing page for referrals, mentioning where the prospect came from to further personalize the interaction and create continuity.
- Test and track your results: Find out which types of referral programs produce new, high-value clients for you, and from whom the referrals come. If some methods aren’t performing, cut them out. If most referrals are coming from just a few existing clients, make sure they become VIPs.
What are your referral techniques? Share them with us in the comments section. For more marketing tips, contact Colosi Marketing.