Would you like to know how to get more business referrals and consistently generate more referral business? There are plenty of articles, eBooks, podcasts and more online telling you various ways that you can generate referral leads for your business. Some of their tips work though many don’t. Well we’re going to share with you 10 TOP proven tips for generating more referral business.
Before we begin, understand that there are 2 type of referrals:
Experience-Based Referrals – These are referral leads that are sent to you from existing clients, customers and other sources who have had experience with your business. The strategy here is to get them to continuously Referral Market your firm to their clients, friends, family and colleagues.
Reputation-Based Referrals - These are referral leads that come to you from people that have no experience with your firm yet are familiar with your reputation and expertise. They may also follow your educational content, may have found you on an online review site, seen your business’s online ratings, client testimonial videos, etc. The strategy here is to establish or improve your reputation and market it consistently both online and offline.
An effective referral marketing campaign must address both types of referrals. So here’s our TOP 10 list for generating more referral leads for your business:
1. Incentivize your BEST Referral Partners (Sources) to refer leads to you. Be generous with your business referral programs! When you design the perfect incentive strategy, not only will they refer more of their own clients and customers to you on a consistent basis yet they’ll even add you to their business plan!
2. Design a simple, easy to implement, and easy to redeem referral program that your clients and customers get excited about. When setting up your business referral program, ask your clients and customers what they actually would want as an incentive. Don’t make the mistake that many small business owners make and lazily guess what their customers want. Good examples tend to be gift cards to restaurants, movies, popular retail stores, donating to their favorite charities, etc,. Then promote it to your clients and customers on at least a monthly basis.
3. Make clients and customers sending you referrals a part of your contract. This is especially true if you give discounts on your products and services. Discount their price in lieu of them sending you 3 referrals. You get the idea.
4. Perfect your Branding. When your business’s brand is perfectly branded to your target demographic, they instantly perceive you as the ready made cure for their problem, need, issue or want. You effectively separate yourself from your competition and make yourself the obvious choice for them to do business with.
5. Add HIGH Demand products and services to your existing line. Many business owners lose out here. By simply finding out what other high demand services your clients would prefer to buy from you and provide it to them, you’ll not only increase client retention, you’ll get more referrals. High demand services for a financial advisor could be offering living trusts themselves instead of referring clients to an attorney, for a roofing company it could be adding window installition in addition to rooves, a realtor might add home cleanout services to their services line.
6. Design a ‘Referral Conversation’ script to use with your clients and customers and make it a standard part of your fulfillment process. Everyone on your team should know what to say to people to generate referrals for you. They should also know exactly WHEN to get referrals. By standardizing your referral process, you get better and more consistent results. This is one of the most effective ways to get consistent referrals and sales.
7. Build yourself into a recognized ‘Go To Expert’ in your field and industry. This usually means leverage content marketing strategies combined with some form of online and offline publicity marketing. This strategy tends to produce high quality referral leads. Content strategies you can leverage include – Authoring / co-authoring a book or an eBook; author an Audio Book; produce a tips DVD; produce a biweekly expert video shown on Youtube; produce a biweekly expert podcast; start a business blog for your company; get Video Testimonials & Reviews from your clients and include them on your website; conduct a quarterly expert webinar; conduct a quarterly ‘in person’ expert seminar. These are just a few ideas. Plus research shows that high profile ‘Go To Experts’ draw reputation-based referrals at a much greater rate.
8. Join Referral Groups – There are networking groups in your local area that exist to do nothing more than give you referrals for your business! Every meeting each member of the group brings new referral leads for the other members of the group. Simply search online for ‘referral groups + your city’. Read over their websites and check out any that seem to be a good fit for your business.
9. Incentivize your BEST Referring Clients to refer leads to you. Once again be generous. You’ll notice that some of your clients refer you much better leads than many of the others. Design a few special incentives just for them (ex. tickets to a local sports team, paid vacations, prepaid memberships, etc.).
10. Design client and customer case studies and promote them on social media, the internet, email and more. People are much more impressed and understand more clearly who you help and what you specifically can do to help them when they see your case studies. Plus if your case studies are of well known people or companies, it takes your credibility to the next level with the net result of generating more referral leads for you.
By implementing any one, or ALL, of these 10 proven referral marketing lead generating techniques will have the net result of generating more HIGH Quality referral leads for you and your business.