I recently visited a new restaurant that had great food and exceptional service. Before leaving I was looking for their card so I could start referring people to them. Getting referrals is imperative to every self-employed business owner. Referrals can mean the difference between not having new clients and having a thriving business. Christian business women need to get know how to inspire customers to give them referrals on an ongoing basis to improve business.
One of the best features of a customer who comes as a referral is that they come with a mindset to make a purchase. Therefore, you have to do very little if any selling. What you have to do is have consistent service and products that make that new person want to buy based on the referral and to become another person that does effective referrals for you. That leaves you more time to run your business and make money. So what are some secret to getting better, and more frequent referrals?
Referrals Come by Word of Mouth Marketing – So Encourage People to Talk
People make a referral by talking about you. This might be one of the only times when you want to encourage people to make you the target of their conversation. Word of mouth marketing seems like a natural thing but it really doesn’t always just happen. Just think about how many great places you’re been to that you don’t talk about with others? With so many places to visit and so much on your mind, you probably just don’t think about different business you’ve enjoyed or even more simply, you just forget. That is why the ability to get good referrals is an art as well as a marketing skill. You need to control the thinking of your customers to make them want to pass the word along about how great you are.
Know Your Referral Sources and Track Them
Hopefully you can tell the people who have referred others to you in the past. Consider creating a special plan to keep track of these referral sources and keep them talking. For example, you might send them a coupon for your products or services just to let them know how much you appreciate them. That means you need to set up some type of system to start tracking your customers and the people they refer. Do this by getting them on an email mailing list and sending them a notice of specials, sales, discounts, or special events. Offer them something special when a referral drops their name, and then get the new referral on your mailing list too!
Be Great at Saying Thanks
As soon as you receive a referral, connect with the source and thank them. You can automate the process to make it easier. For example, when you receive a referral, generate an automatic email response to the referral source to thank them for spreading the word. Come up with some type of gift such as a discount code to thank them. Depending on your niche and your business model, offering a discount can be a great way to motivate repeat referrals.
Apply the 10 x 10 Rule
The 10×10 rule works like this. Make a list of 10 complimentary industries to yours. For example, if you make health food for dogs, complimentary industries could be dog trainers, groomers, and pet retailers. Once you have your list of ten industries, do a bit of research and find 10 professionals from each of those industries that you can connect with for referrals. You now have 100 potential referral sources. Get busy and find ways to connect with these people. Introduce yourself, learn more about their business and educate them about yours. Suggest a mutual system of referring business to each other.
Be Sure to Ask for Referrals
When a client says she enjoyed your service or product, or that you do a wonderful job for them, thank them and ask for a referral. The best time to do this is when the good service or product is in the mind of the customer. Asking for the referral helps to solidifies you in that person’s mind. Ask the customer if she has a business card and say you want to put them on your business email list or special mailings. Be sure to send a thank-you card to that customer. It never hurts to include something special such as a discount or gift card as appropriate.
As a Christian woman in business, you really need to make the person who referred you feel glad that they did. Now, they will be more likely to do it again. Referrals are a wonderful business builder. Create a strategy to build your referral business; then you can focus more on providing spectacular products and services while satisfied customers help to drum up new business.