Building a System to Grow Your Business
Satisfied client referrals are a great way to promote just about any business. They are a powerful, effective, and inexpensive way to grow your business. It is best to have an official system in place instead of simply expecting that your clients are going to tell others about you.
Here are a few ideas to get your clients to refer more business your way.
1. Do great work and provide a service so exceptional that people will naturally want to recommend your services to others. Someone I know saw this in action when he ordered some new shoes from Zappos.com. He was a little hesitant to order because he was not sure if the fit would be right. Since they pay for shipping both ways and guarantee their products for a year, he thought he would take a chance.
The man selected the standard 3 – 5 day shipping option and would have been happy to see his shoes by the weekend, but later that evening he got word that his order was upgraded to free overnight shipping…and had his new shoes (that fit perfectly by the way) the very next day! His expectations were exceeded by a mile and as a result, He has since told many people about this positive experience.
2. Strive to develop meaningful relationships with your clients and prospects. People buy from those they know, like and trust, referring their friends as well. Take the time to fully evaluate and understand your clients’ needs and recommend products and services that help meet those needs, even if that means providing some free advice or referring them to someone who can better take care of them.
3. Developing a formal system for client referrals is one of the best things you can do in your business.
This does not have to be a complicated system, and can be as simple as sending a thank you card to clients and asking them to refer their friends and family to you if they are satisfied with your services. Include a special offer they could pass on to their friends and family, offering an incentive to your client for recommending you.
For example, if you owned a gym, let your existing members know that you will offer their friends and family and free 30 day trial membership. And for every client that becomes a new member, they get a free month or two for themselves. A massage therapist might offer a free massage for every new client referred, or a dentist would offer a free teeth whitening or a credit on future services for new clients referred to them.
Take a few minutes to think about your business and I am sure there are many creative offers you could make to get your current clients to refer new business to you. Whether you offer incentives for referring to you or not, you should always send a thank you note to your clients who refer new business to you. Depending on how much business they give you, a nice thank you gift might be appropriate also.
Client referrals are a great source of new business that you should not overlook. When used effectively, they will help your business grow while reducing your traditional advertising expenses.
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