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Marketing Mojo: How to gain more and better referrals

January 14, 2022 -  By

Did you know that regardless of their level of satisfaction, less than one-third of consumers will take the initiative to make a referral?

It’s your responsibility to teach your clients, especially your champions, how to refer your business. You’ll have to give them an occasional nudge, possibly an incentive and, most importantly, the tools to make it easier.

(Photo: designer491 / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Image)

(Photo: designer491 / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Image)

Why referrals are important

  • Your ideal customers are likely to refer others who value the same things.
  • Referrals shorten the sales cycle because the referred prospects are inclined to trust you.
  • The best referrals will willingly pay for premium service.
  • Referrals increase the lifetime value of every customer.

A referral process

Referrals can come from clients, friends in the community and employees. To help all of them, you should have a referral process that guides the experience.
A landing page that explains the problems your company solves is essential. That page should show what it’s like to work with your company. This is an opportunity to clarify your uniqueness, what makes your company the right choice for its ideal clients. Consider adding videos to your landing page.

Videos are a powerful tool for humanizing your business. Use testimonial videos from clients or employees to give people a sense of who you are and your work environment. Show how your business takes its clients to a better place. Studies show that buyers are 50 percent more likely to trust the messaging from employees than the brand.

In addition to growing revenue, referrals are likely your most valuable recruiting tool. Create another landing page that speaks to what’s most relevant to potential employees. Once again, a powerful approach is having a current team member share his or her story in a 90-second video. You want these to be honest and authentic, in the employee’s words.

Every referral starts with an introduction. To make a favorable first impression when introduced, you must help your clients or other referral partners get it right. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will follow through with it.

To make a favorable first impression when introduced, you must help your clients or other referral partners get it right. The easier you make this for them, the more likely they will follow through with it.

A short introductory email that includes some or all the following is a great start to a referral process:

  • How to spot your ideal client
  • Your company’s primary distinction
  • Trigger words and phrases clients like to hear
  • Your process, how you deliver value
  • A link to a landing page that tells your story

What happens next

If a referral will be answered by you, the owner, then you must have a process in place to ensure that happens. Whenever possible, ask to be notified when a referral is made. This gives you the opportunity to set in motion your process designed to honor the referring partner and his or her referral.

A referral process is specific to your company and the community it serves. It’s ongoing education for employees, clients and business partners that helps them help you expand the audience your company serves. This may include:

  • Offering incentives to employees
  • Publicly thanking referring partners in your newsletter
  • Creating co-marketing with similar businesses
  • Rating, reviewing and referring other businesses
  • Hosting and supporting community events and charitable causes

According to research conducted by referral network Alignable, 85 percent of small business owners claim referrals drive the majority of their new business. That’s why it’s necessary to have a referral structure to encourage this type of growth.

Texas Tech University conducted a survey that revealed 83 percent of satisfied customers are willing to make a referral, but only 29 percent actually do.

Most people believe referrals are happy accidents, but this research shows they are available for any company willing to do the work. Create tools and build awareness to make referrals a byproduct of your company’s daily activities.

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