I personally know of several very successful small businesses that don’t spend a dime on advertising? Why? Because they have implemented a referral marketing program that automatically brings in more clients than they need.
The very best way to get a new customer is to simply ask a happy customer for a referral. And do you know the best thing about referred customers? You will almost always be able to charge them full price because they are presold on your quality and work.
This article discusses three very simple but power referral marketing strategies. Pick the one that most appeals to you and work to implement it in your business today.
Referral Strategy #1: It takes One to Know One
Don’t dismiss this referral marketing strategy as too simplistic. I promise you it is very powerful. Here’s how it works.
As soon as you have completed a successful transaction with a good customer, simply ask, “Do you happen to know anyone like yourself that would benefit from my products & services?” The key to this referral idea is twofold.
۱٫ You have completed a transaction with the customer that ended in high satisfaction.
۲٫ You have asked for the referral at the point of maximum impact.
You’ll be amazed by how much new business you can bring in by just asking a happy client for a referral. Most satisfied customers will be happy to provide a name or two upon request. Don’t be shy about this one. It may be simple, but it works!
Referral Strategy #2: Show Me the Money
This referral idea uses the idea of complementary businesses. A complementary business is one that serves the same target customers as your business but is not a direct competitor. For example, let’s say you owned a roofing repair company. Complementary businesses would include other types of home repair business such as weatherproofing, tuckpointing, remodeling, etc.
I recommend only approaching businesses you have some type of established relationship for reasons that will be obvious in a moment.
Work with one business at a time and ask them to mail out a letter to all their clients introducing your business and recommending your products and services. In return, you promise to pay the company a percentage of all sales that you obtain through this mailing.
Don’t be stingy here – make it worth their while. While you may need to offer 25% or more of first-time sales produced, the value comes from retaining these customers for future business.
This referral idea really does require you have a trusting relationship with the complementary company as they will be relying on you to track the business you book from the mailing.
Referral Strategy #3: You Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours
This referral marketing strategy is simple but powerful. Your client sends you people that make a purchase and you give them coupons worth 20% off a specific product or service.
Let’s say you are a consultant and have an established relationship with a client for whom you are working on a project. The project is a day-long training event and you are charging $2,000. You tell your client that you will knock 20% off the price for every client they send you that makes a purchase.
What makes this system so compelling is that there is no limit to what they can save. If they send you 5 prospects that end up doing business with you, then their $2,000 training session is free (5 x 20% = 100%).
Would you trade a free service for five new paying clients? I would! This referral provides a strong incentive for the client to send you good referrals.
Pick one of the above three referral strategies and work to integrate it into your business. You’ll be surprised by the results!