Get More Referrals For Your BusinessJuly 30th 2013 Sally Ormond getting referrals, grow your business through referrals, word of mouth marketing
This blog first appeared on Freelance Copywriter’s Blog, but we thought you’d find it useful too:
Most marketing strategies concentrate on email, direct mail, social media, print marketing and web marketing.
That’s good news for us professional copywriters as it means there’s plenty of work to be had.
But there is one other stream of customers that’s not been mentioned – referrals.
Referrals (or word of mouth marketing) are worth their weight in gold. After all, people are coming to you as a direct result of someone else recommending your products and services.
As a result, they already know about the quality of your work, your level of customer service and what makes you stand out from other providers – so most of the hard work has already been done for you.
So how to you get more of them?
Sowing the referral seeds
Put simply, there are no short cuts to generating referrals.
If you want people to talk about you favourably to others, you’ve got to provide them with good reason.
1. Above and beyond
Every contact you have with a customer before, during and after making a sale has to be perfect.
You must constantly exceed their expectations and make them feel valued.
That’s easier said than done, especially when faced with one of ‘those’ customers, but it will be worth it in the end.
2. Staying in touch
Once you’ve completed a sale and your customer’s gone away happy, it’s very tempting to move onto the next person. But what about the relationship you’ve just spent weeks (months or even years) developing with the person that’s just walked out the door?
The relationship is far too valuable to let slide, so make sure you keep in touch with regular newsletters, offers and great information.
How about offering an incentive for referrals – perhaps a discount on future purchases for every person they introduce to you?
However you decide to approach it, keeping the relationship going is vital – after all, if they’ve bought from you once, the chances are they will again.
Marketers band around the term ‘Engaging with your audience’ quite frequently. So what exactly do they mean?
Well, if you want someone to buy from you and develop a long lasting relationship with your company, there has to be something in it for them. You could argue that the product/service they buy is enough, but today’s customers are far cannier than that and expect much more.
Offering them useful, relevant and interesting content will help you engage with them. They see it as getting something for nothing; you see, it as a way of maintaining contact and keeping your company’s name firmly lodged in their mind.
But more than that, if your content is really useful to them, you will be opening up the opportunity of it being shared with their friends and colleagues. Facebook ‘Likes’, re-tweets and other social media sharing tools will help spread the word about your company – and that can’t be bad.
So you see, if you want to boost and encourage referrals, you must engage with your customers and go above and beyond what they would expect.
Take some time out to review your current procedures; what efforts do you make to retain customers and stay in touch? How many referrals do you receive?
Perhaps it’s time to give some of these suggestions a try.