In a crazy year like 2020, it’s more important than ever for business owners and managers to find ways to bring in more customers, boost sales, and reduce costs. You can implement many strategies to do this, but one budget-friendly option worth focusing on is referrals.
When your clients refer their friends, family members, colleagues, followers, and other contacts to your firm, you can win new business without outlaying so much money on advertising or other marketing campaigns. This saves you money and brings you qualified leads to pursue.
A solid lead generation plan is necessary to grow a business over time and ensure you can withstand quieter periods. Finding ways to increase referrals will do a lot to boost freelancer, small business, corporation, and franchise lead generation results. If you haven’t concentrated on tactic yet, or need ideas on how to do so more effectively, here are some tips to increase your referral success rate.
You won’t get more client recommendations if you never actually ask for them! Entrepreneurs miss out on referrals all the time because they’re too shy to ask customers for a shout-out or feel like they’ll just annoy people. If you’ve pleased your clients, though, most of them should be happy to talk about your business and its offerings to others.
Just because people may not proactively volunteer a referral, this doesn’t mean they won’t provide one. Everyone is busy, and it may not cross their mind to take this step. As such, get into the habit of asking people. It pays to set up processes for this task to achieve consistency, too.
You do need to choose the timing of your requests with care, though. The best time to ask for a referral is when customers are in a positive frame of mind about your business and its offerings. Often, this is when people are first enjoying what you sold them. That timeframe will vary according to your wares and industry, but it’s at the point when clients are still impressed by the novelty and benefit of your product or service.
Provide People with an Incentive
Even though your customers may love you and what your products or services have done for them, this doesn’t mean they won’t also need a little extra motivation to make a referral happen. People focus on themselves and their own world and needs and have lots of other things on their minds. As a result, it’s worth providing them with an incentive to take the time to recommend your business.
There are many incentive tactics you can try, but consider offering people discounts on their next transaction with your company or a bonus like free shipping or a gift with purchase. You could also provide people a shopping credit or extra loyalty points for every referral.
Set this incentive program up in a way that works for you. You may choose to only reward customers with something special if the person they refer actually buys something. Consider which types of incentives will work for your organization’s bottom line and what is likely to attract your customers’ interest. You may need to do some testing on this element to find the most attractive option.
Make it Easy for Customers to Refer You
Another tip is to do everything possible to make it easy for customers to refer you. The more work involved in making a recommendation, the less likely it is that they’ll take the time to do it. So, instead of simply asking people to refer you, which can be done in various ways and has no set end date or specificity, it’s better to create a process for clients to follow.
Show people exactly how they can complete a referral and do as much of the heavy lifting of this as possible. For instance, create an email template that customers can send as is to their contacts or personalize with the addition of just one or two details. You could put a form on your website that customers merely have to fill out, such as with the contact details of the person they want to tell about your offerings.
Alternatively, create a social media template that people can download or copy and use to rave about your business to their online networks.
Spending time and effort to boost customer referrals can make a massive difference to your firm’s bottom line over time. As the year draws to a close and you start to consider ways to grow your business in 2021, now is a great time to focus on this beneficial strategy.