A referral strategy is an essential component to any serious business. In today's world of social media, word-of-mouth is more popular than ever, allowing more and more industries to flourish due to the high amount of word-of-mouth advertising.
People aren't watching TV as much anymore, and those that are tend to have DVR's. This makes advertising on TV less effective. Internet marketing can be an effective tool to drive potential clients to your product or service. Using the following referral strategies can be lucrative for any business.
5 Tips to Build a Successful Referral Strategy For Your Business
1. Online Presence
If you deal primarily in brick and mortar now is the time to bring it online as well. Building a referral program for a physical location can be difficult. With the age of the internet and utilizing social media you can improve your marketing outreach.
Getting referrals can be easier when you are found online and endorsed by others.
2. Build Your Network
Take the long term approach. When you are at industry events, build the relationship. Your potential clients want to work with people they know, like and trust. Let them know if you have a new website where they can go and get educated on your product or service. Don't focus on making the sale at the first meet, focus on building the trust.
3. Understand Needs
Referrals are key to the growth of any type of business. Before you ask an existing client for a referral make sure you have performed your service to the highest level of performance. Your clients will be delighted to give you a referral after your company satisfied their needs. Most of your potential customers want to work with someone they already know or a company that has a good track record.
Another referral strategy for your business is education. Set up your blog (because you now have an online presence) and share your best tips on your product or service. You will establish yourself as an expert in the field. When someone is looking for your specific product, you will be the first person or company they turn to and also share with their friends.
Adding social share buttons on your blog post will further your strategy to build a profitable business.
5. Follow Up
You've gone through the right steps to build relationships, don't let them go. Use emails to follow up with both your clients and potential customers. Use email autoresponders and social media tools to build the trust your customer deserves. And acknowledge them at least on a weekly basis.
Talk to your email list. Let them know if you have an incentive to refer a friend. Thank them for being a customer. A referral strategy like email follow up is powerful yet often times over looked.
According to MarketingSherpa (2015), 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with.
Let's follow up to grow your business using the franchise model.