Simple Techniques to Increase Client Referrals
Contemplating how to increase client referrals?
Many consultants and other experts rely heavily on referrals. And why wouldn’t you? Positive word-of-mouth is the most affordable way to grow any small business.
Therefore, what follows are three common reasons why businesses miss out on referrals. What’s more, to help you fix this problem, I provide several referral positioning and messaging examples.
Here are the three reasons why you’re not seeing the referrals you want and what you can do about it:
#1 — Fear of Referring
Most noteworthy: Many customers may be hesitant to refer your business for fear you’ll talk about them to the very person they referred. To increase referrals, calm your clients’ fears by openly addressing them.
A financial advisor’s email signature could read:
“My practice is exclusively referral based. I’ll never discuss your personal or financial situation with anyone, including the friends, family and associates you refer to me.”
#2 — Concerns About How You Will Treat Referrals
To increase client referrals, openly discuss how you welcome and manage them.
Most importantly, remove all questions that your current customers have regarding how you’ll treat their friends, family and associates. Describe your referral management process in detail and then promote it at various locations, including: website, waiting room, voicemail message, etc. When you do, more customers will promote your business, since clarity increases referrals.
[Related] Sign up for my free monthly marketing tip. Receive creative and practical ideas to help you grow your small business.
Referral Message Example:
Suppose you’re marketing a hair salon. To entice clients to refer their friends, display a sign at each workstation.
Sign Copy Example:
“When you refer a friend, we’ll treat them with the utmost care. We pledge to make your friend’s day welcoming and relaxing, while providing both of you the highest level of confidentiality.
As a thank you for your recommendation, receive 50% off your next service while your friend receives 25% off their first appointment.
It’s a pleasure to serve you and those you care about.”
Credibility is especially relevant and takes time to build. However, as your credibility grows, you’ll experience an increase in customer referrals. One of the fastest ways to increase credibility is to align your business with other reputable businesses. Therefore, you’re looking to grow your referrals by piggybacking off of the success of another business’ brand.
[RELATED:] If you’re seeking to increase partnerships with other businesses, then check out my eBook: Duplicate Yourself: Small Business Piggybacking & Partnering Strategies. Click the cover to be taken directly to the Amazon product page.
Referral Partnering Example:
Perhaps you’re a licensed youth therapist and just launched a new practice in your hometown. One of the first organizations to align yourself with is the local school system. When a parent finds themselves with a troubled child, they often look to school psychologists for therapist recommendations. Other referral sources include: Parent teacher associations, pediatric doctor’s offices, police departments, truancy officers, etc. The latter carry a lot of credibility, likely spurring referrals.
Lastly, I recommend that you create comprehensive customer and employee referral rewards programs. Combined, these two sources are the most affordable way to grow your customer base.
Additional Referral Marketing Resource
Contagious: Why Things Catch On — If you’re looking to inspire people to talk more about you or your business, then read this book. It’s highly insightful in terms of how to create positive word-of-mouth.
Finally, how about you? What referral strategies work for your business? Help other small businesses grow. Tell us in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing.