Using referral systems to easily win business

There is nothing more powerful than a positive referral.

Mariah Young

There is nothing more powerful than a positive referral. It costs you nothing, and is an easy way to generate new business and contacts!

The basic principle of referrals is simple: If you don’t ask, you don’t get! By asking your customers for referrals, you essentially put your business in front of their entire network of contacts, and with their stamp of approval, chances are you’ll come out of it with new business. We recommend putting in place a referral system, to encourage your customers to recommend you to their contacts.

Examples of referral schemes include:

  • Introduce a friend and get x% off your next purchase
  • Introduce a friend and get a free gift
  • Introduce a friend and get your next (insert product or service here) free

A happy customer will be more than happy to recommend you because, well, they’re happy with you! We’ve put together some tips for getting the customer referrals you want.

Make sure the timing is right

If you ask your customer for a review at a bad time, chances are you’ll be ignored or put them off altogether. You need to catch them at the moment when they’re feeling completely satisfied with your work. Then you can channel that satisfaction and engagement into positive action. Wait for the ‘Wow’ moment!

Promote your referral system

There’s no point running one if nobody knows about it! Make sure you slap your referral system on to your website, social media, and all promotional materials. What’s more, you should be telling each and every customer about your offer. When you’re asking for referrals, make sure you tell them about your incentive – it might just be the thing that sticks in their mind, and reminds them to recommend you at their next networking lunch.

Give referrals for others

By doing a favour for another business and recommending them to your contacts, you create a tit-for-tat situation. If you can send business to another company, they’ll naturally want to repay the favour and send some potential customers your way! You can really push this by attending networking groups and events: keep a record of all the people you meet, and if you know anyone that might be looking for one of those services, give the referral. It will pay off!

Ask for online reviews

These days, reviews and testimonials on review sites social media are almost as powerful as direct referrals. One of the first things people do when researching a potential service is check out the reviews. If you’re a restaurant, where’s the first place people will search for you? TripAdvisor. If you’re a plumber? CheckATrade, or TrustATrader. So why not apply the principals of referrals to cultivating reviews?

Ask your happy customers to leave you a review on Facebook, or TrustPilot. You can even offer an incentive for those that leave you a review: perhaps 10% off their next purchase with you, or a free gift. Your customers might not currently know anyone who could use your services, but they can always leave you a good review!

Google reviews are also powerful, though be careful offering incentives as there are pitfalls as this law firm found out.

Want to know more about how we can help your business grow? Get in touch!