As a business owner, it’s only natural that you want your business to grow. To be able to do that, the concept of business referrals is not a new one.
Business referrals’ impact is big and can help grow your business tremendously. However, you should be prepared for a tough road as it is not easy to get the right referrals at any time. It starts with providing your customers or clients the best experience, so they are motivated to actually talk about their experience doing business with you to people they know. Nowadays, with the growth of social media, the ease of sharing experiences online could be a weapon with two edges. This means that you can either have people talking positively about your business, or people can easily talk negatively about your business if they go through a bad experience, thus, increasing or decreasing your referrals.
Let us give you some tips on how a business grows upon referrals using a marketing strategy:
Develop the right strategy
For a lot of businesses, one of the best ways to grow your business is to maximize your referrals. It might take some time, but developing the right strategy for referrals leads to a solid business that is continuously growing. Business referrals add value to your marketing strategies. It will help your business get new customers that you may not be able to acquire solely with your other marketing activities.
Before you can develop the right strategy to get good business referrals, you should have a mindset directed towards having connections with the right people from different companies. This group of people will, or could, act as advocates for your company, and could actually choose to be part of your company if for any reason they leave their current job. Once you have the right network, you can now go to the next level and maximize your referral strategy. The following are some of the best ways you can boost your business referrals:
Perfect your business pitch. First and foremost, in order for people to refer you, they have to understand you and what your business can actually do. So, be very clear and confident when you tell people about your business, or how your product or service can help them.
Nurture your business relationships. Remember getting the right network? You won’t just be getting the right network and leaving a great first impression – it just isn’t good enough. You have to develop and maintain a relationship so you or your business stay on top of people’s minds.
Provide quality service. One of the reasons why people referred you is because they’re extremely satisfied with the service you provided them. Now, if the referred customer is also satisfied with your service, he/she will vouch for you, too, until you get a lot of referrals from referred customers through word of mouth.
Getting good business referrals is not just a one-time activity. It’s important to dedicate time and effort to create a strong referral base. Take some time to analyze if you’re targeting the right group of people or the right network. Are you motivating people enough for them to refer you by keeping them engaged or by making them feel satisfied? Are you even promoting your business enough? These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself and be given dedicated time to analyze.
You may also try talking to people in your surroundings or to people you already know and ask if they know someone who might be interested in your business and what you’re offering. If done on a regular basis, this can stretch your customer base, which means more referrals for next year.
Put your special touch
One of the most effective strategies to get new customers is to turn your existing customers into strong advocates for your business. Let them find people to refer and do business with you. But, how can you do that?
To be able to build a strong customer base that would willingly refer you, you might want to add some “personal touch” in your business encounters. Consider talking to your existing clients face-to-face, making the relationship more personalized, instead of just sending them voice mails or emails or just passing by. Doing this will leave a mark and your customers won’t forget how you made them feel – which is important. You might say that you only have limited time and won´t be able to do that with all of your customers, and that’s totally understandable. But, choosing the biggest ones and dedicating even a few minutes to listen to them and update them about what´s new will lead you to a successful and strong customer base. And as you may know by now, the stronger the customer base, the easier the referral acquisition process will be.
Don’t forget your employees
Richard Branson is known not just as a business magnate; he’s also known for his love and respect to his employees. In one of his interviews, Richard Branson said that if employees are treated well, the employees are going to have a smile on their faces, therefore, they will provide great customer service leading to customers having the nicest experience. That is true.
In order for you to have a good connection with your customers, clients, or partners, it is of utmost importance to have a good relationship with your employees first. If your employees are happy, content, and feel appreciated, the chances that they will be more productive and more involved in the business are very high. And just like what Richard Branson believes in, if you give importance to your employees, they’ll give importance to your customers, too, leading to more satisfied customers. For this reason, you should always show appreciation to your employees especially when they’re doing a great job at work. A good referral program that gives incentives dedicated to your employees would make sense and wouldn’t hurt your business. Instead, because of this, your potential customers through referrals may actually grow.
Make sure to be grateful
In the business world, a referral is somehow your bread and butter, especially for small businesses. Referrals given by your customers or referral marketing helps you reach your business goals. For this reason, be grateful and appreciative of every referral you get. Have the right acknowledgment process in place to show your appreciation so that you have an edge over other companies. For example, you may want to invite a referrer for a dinner to thank him/her personally, especially if his/her referrals have added a lot of value to your business that led to high revenues. In some cases, a thank you card with your personal message will do the job!
Always remember that it is very important to thank and express gratitude to those people who referred you or your business to other potential customers. Because of them, you have been given a great opportunity to grow your business.