How to Build Referrals for Your Business Latest 2020 Update.
You will agree with me that getting referrals can be very tedious and tasking. Trying to build referrals can be an essential part of running a business. They can help build customer relationships, and of course, bring in new customers. In this article, all you need to know about building referrals for your business.
But how can you get more referrals? The easiest way to get a customer referral is simply to ask. However, asking for referrals directly can come off sounding like you’re asking for a favor. If you come across as too salesy you’ll probably turn some people off and won’t grow your customer base.
Building Referrals for your Business
Here are some quick tips on ways that you can use in building effective referrals for your business without looking desperate for new customers:
1. Asking Directly
Want to know the best way to ask for a referral? Be direct and just ask your clients or customers through an email, online, in-person, or at the bottom of your invoices. It’s not pushy or awkward if you’ve earned it by going above and beyond.
2. Focus on your Best Clients.
Instead of targeting all of your clients or customers, focus on the ones that you already have a relationship with, those that offer complementary products and services, or those in your community.
They’ll be more likely to refer your goods or services to others since they trust you, can vouch for your work or products, and have a chance to work with your side-by-side, as opposed to clients that you haven’t world with much.
3. Be Specific
When asking for a referral, don’t simply ask, “Do you know anyone that could use a freelance writer?” That’s too broad. However, if you asked clients who have hired you as a financial writer, if they know a couple of people that could use a financial writer to discuss the blockchain or fintech, you have a better chance to spark their memory.
4. Provide Value to Customers
Did you just read an article that a client would find entertaining? Did you just publish a case study useful to your clients? Did you just release a new product or service that could compliment your solutions for clients’ needs?
If so, send them a link or an attachment in an email or at the bottom of an invoice. It’s a simple and effective way to show them that you’ve kept them in mind – even after a project is completed.
5. Make it Personal
Instead of sending a broad and generic referral request to all of your contacts, send direct emails or phone calls that have a personalized message. If your client mentioned that they could use a graphic designer down the road, call that client and remind them that you offer graphic design services.
6. Get your Customers Contact Information
If your clients don’t have your contact information, don’t expect any new referrals from them. Make sure that your email address and phone number are everywhere.
Begin with your invoices, email signature, and social channels, then make sure that you get that information on their phones. For instance, if you’re at a conference, ask for their number and send them a text so that you can each program each other’s numbers into your phones.
If you’re in a business like insurance you also want to make sure that every member of the household has your contact information stored on their phones so that they can easily contact you – and refer you to their contacts.
7. Don’t Always Be Direct
Some clients are uncomfortable or not allowed by their employers to refer to. In that case, you need to think outside of the box. Can they leave a review or testimonial on your website or review site?
Are they willing to be a part of a case study? Those are ways that they’re endorsing and recommending your business without giving a direct referral.
8. Offer Incentives
Even though your work has to speak for itself, everyone enjoys a gift. Incentives like a gift card, percentage off of future work, a small gift, or charitable donation in their name are powerful for building a bond.
Inform your clients that for every referral they send your way, they’ll receive something in return. And, the more they refer, the more they’ll get. For example, if they refer five people, they’ll get a $10 Amazon gift card per referral. That adds up to a quick $50 for them – and five potential clients for you.
9. Recommend Friend Functionality
You could create a page, link form, or add a box to your website that allows visitors to add the email of their contacts or send them a personalized referral link. ReferralCandy, InviteBox, and SaaSquatch are a couple of tools to get you started with this approach.
10. Referral Fees and Commission
One of the more common referral techniques is to pay others for referring your business. For example, you could leave referral cards at a local cafe or salon and offer the owner and their employees a buck or two for every card they hand out. For ongoing referrals, you could also offer them a percentage of each new sale that they’ve referred.
11. Use your Email Signature
Your email signature is prime real estate to ask for referrals where you can write “Forward My Contact Information” as a call to action to remind the recipient to recommend you.
12. Follow-up and stay-in-touch.
Schedule reminders on your calendar to email your clients every three, six or 12 months to ask how they’re doing and how you can assist them in new ways.
13. Be active on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for referrals and getting introduced to potential clients. For instance, LinkedIn gives you the ability to reach out to your connection’s connections. Before reaching out to prospective clients, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated and optimized. Be an active member by creating and sharing relevant content.
14. Join a referral networking group.
Business networking groups are where local business owners gather once a week or so to practice their elevator pitch, socialize, learn a new skill, and give each other referrals. It can be time-consuming, but it’s one of the best ways to get new referrals without really having to ask. Use Meetup to find a group near you.
15. Give them a surprise.
Lastly, who doesn’t like a surprise?
When you’ve completed a web design project, for example, you could include a premium plugin that wasn’t initially included. When their birthday comes around, send them a birthday card or a small present. It’s a powerful way to thank them and build loyalty.
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