Nowadays most people find what they need by asking someone they trust for a recommendation. Are you using referrals to build your business?
Debbie Buckley of Biz4Web took us through an interactive referral marketing workshop at the recent Women in Business West Kent meeting at St Julians in Sevenoaks.
According to Neilsen 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know.
Who are the connectors?
Do you know who are the influential people in your industry/network? Are you connected with them? Do they know what you do?
Build relationships with people and make it easy for them to refer you. Find out about the other person and ask how you can help them. It takes time to build trust but once it is established then it should lead to referrals. You will need to be memorable so ensure your ‘pitch’ says what you do in an easy to understand, simple and quick way. That way someone can easily refer you to others.
Know your ideal referral
Build relationships and make it easy for people to refer you. Think about your marketing and prepare the following:
- Who is your ideal referral?
- What do they need from me?
- When do they need it?
“A lister” clients
Categorise your clients and concentrate on the ‘A’s and longer term look to eliminate the ‘D’s. Your ideal referral should be an A or B client.
- A – the clients who pay on time, are easy to work with and do not cause you any hassle
- B – smaller clients or jobs
- C – between B and D. May not pay and take quite a bit of effort.
- D – people who don’t pay on time, pay very little for your services and generally take up a lot of your time for very little return
The right time to ask for a referral
Once you have a happy client, when you have delivered the service that you promised, then it’s the right time to ask for a referral.
Think about doing a short survey (SurveyMonkey is simple to use) to ask for feedback and consider giving away something as an incentive. A short report or something similar makes a good ‘freebie’
Incentives for referrals
- Offer special pricing to your clients “Do you want to pay the regular price or the discounted referral rate?”
- Or give a free gift or extra service (M&S vouchers are popular)
- Let your customers give a gift from you
Ways of getting referrals
- Put a referral card in with any physical orders or send an email followup with one.
- Hold a customer event and ask them to bring their friends
- Hold a bring a friend sale or throw a party
You can access Debbie’s full presentation by clicking on the image.
Have you any good stories about how referrals have changed or helped you to grow your business? Please let us know in the comments below.
Photos from the evening are in our Gallery
Our next Women in Business West Kent meeting will be on 27 November and we will be finding out how to be more successful in business by harnessing the power of attraction. Find out more details here
Boost your business membership portal from Biz4Web
Debbie Buckley will be launching a ‘Boost Your Business Membership Portal’ very soon, where for just £29.99 per month, members can enjoy the following (see www.biz4web.com/members)
- A video workshop each month to watch in their own time and at their own convenience
- Suggested reading material and tools they can use on the subject matter for the month
- Downloads and printouts with practical exercises to make the training applicable to them and their business
Here are just a few of the workshops they will have access to:
- Small Business Marketing – How You Can Navigate the Marketing Maze
- Social Media Marketing – Why Social Media is Important for Your SEO
- Winning Websites – Change Your Website From Zero to Hero
- The Business Boosting Benefits of Blogging
- Productivity Powerhouse – Working Smarter not Harder
- Pitch Perfect – Powerful Presenting for Powerful Results
- Easy Finance for Small Businesses – Creating Your Financial Dashboard
- Referral Results – Leveraging Referrals for Sales and Profits
- Thinking Big – Mindset Mastery for Small Businesses
- Partnerships and Collaboration – How to Create Win Win Joint Ventures
- Networking No Nos – How Not to Sabotage Your Networking Efforts
- Supercharge Your Sales – Setting Up Your Sales Framework
- Sexy Systems for Small Business – Let Your Systems Do the Work
If anyone is interested in finding out more and would like to register that interest please email Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be in touch when the membership site goes live.