Receiving a referral is the most guaranteed way of converting a lead into a customer. And not only that, but it takes a minimal amount of time and virtually no expense. So, if you are not asking for referrals, why not?
Like in all aspects of life (from booking holidays to finding a new hairdresser) we all feel more reassured if acting on a recommendation of someone we know and trust – and in business it is no different.
A lead that comes from a personal recommendation has already been told what a good job you do – so that’s half your sales pitch done for you!
Presuming you have delivered (or are in the process of delivering) a great product or service, you should be asking for referrals from every customer that comes your way. If they are happy with your work they will, more often than not, be happy to tell people about it.
And remember, new customers have untapped networks and won’t have referred anyone to you in the past – so ask as soon as you feel is appropriate.
Asking companies if they know of ‘any other great businesses like themselves’ who may be interested in what you do is a great opener and a flattering one, too.
Online testimonials and recommendations are vital and should also be chased as they give validity to your marketing claims to an extremely wide audience. The best way to request customers or clients to write online reviews of your business is by sending a polite email briefly explaining what you are asking for and why. Make sure you also provide the necessary links to click to make life easier for them – after all these are busy people. You should definitely link to Google reviews (how many 5* ratings can you get?!) and also LinkedIn is another good one. Ask them to endorse your relevant skills on your LinkedIn profile as well as a write a short recommendation.
And finally, ask their permission if the recommendation they write online can also be used on your own business website. After all, it’s better to have other people saying how wonderful you are!
Don’t forget to personally thank anyone who gives you review, referral or recommendation. A thank you by email, a phone call or a direct response online will suffice. A personal hand-written letter and even a small gift makes the thank you that bit more special and memorable.
Many companies also run a referral reward scheme. This is an additional incentive for customers to recommend you to one of their contacts. The offer of a gift or money off reward (for either the person referring or both) when the new client signs up can work very well.
If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice, why not follow BuBul on LinkedIn?