Hi, Tony here. And in today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about a really important subject which could have a massive difference to your business, and that’s referrals.
Now, I’ll often speak to business owners and ask them “What’s the main source of new leads and new business for you?”
And they’ll often answer “Oh yes, it’s referrals, Tony.”
And I say, “Oh, well, that’s brilliant. So, what are you doing to actually encourage referrals?”
And they just say, “Nothing. It just kind of happens. It sort of magically happens out there in the ether. People are out there talking about my business.”
And I just don’t buy that.
That’s just an excuse, I’m afraid.
These are what I call accidental or drive-by referrals. They’re just kind of happening. You’re not really encouraging them to happen. They’re just happening accidentally from time to time and I just don’t buy this whole, “I’m getting loads of business from referrals” stuff.
The Importance Of Referrals
And this is important because if you’re not encouraging referrals, if you don’t have a system or a referrals process, then you’re not getting as much as you could be.
And sure we all do it. We’ve had a bit work done in our house or wherever it may be and then someone comes and says, “Oh, that looks lovely” and you say, “Oh yes , there was this brilliant gardener, kitchen installer,” whatever it may be.
Or maybe someone’s fixed your bad back and you say, “I’m feeling much better. There’s this great physio that I’ve been to.” And there’s opportunities to get referrals all day long.
And referrals are a really, really good way to grow a business. There’s been all sorts of research done that show that the majority of new business comes from referrals. Because people are much more likely to buy from people that they’ve been recommended to.
And also the people that are referred generally tend to be higher paying customers. And I think what it all boils down to is that referrals are a key part of growing your business. Selling by referral is much easier than cold selling. And also referred customers are going to spend more.
5 Ways To Get High Quality Referrals From Your Clients
So we just need to grease the skids a little bit, we just need to make that happen a little bit more. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
I’m going to look at five ways that you can get more referrals for your business.
#1 Offer a Good Service
And I think the first thing is that you need to be referable. There’s no way you’ll get them if you’re offering a crappy service. It’s just not going to happen. There’s no amount of asking for it, no amount of systems or process is going to change that.
You need to be referable. You need to offer a good service, you need to offer a friendly service, you need to answer people’s concerns, be prompt, be smart, all of those good things. So that’s just the basics really.
#2 Start Asking For Referrals
The second thing is you need to start asking for referrals. You just need to get into the habit of doing it.
And the best time to ask for a referral?
When you’ve got a happy customer standing there in front of you saying, “Thank you very much, Tony,” or “You’ve done a great job, really pleased with it.”
Then you need to introduce the fact that you do have a referral system and a referral process in place.
Now, that could be (and I’m going to come on the systems and processes in a minute) that you just give them a card that just explains what it’s all about.
The point is, you need to let people know, “Hey, my business relies on referrals, if you know anybody that needs this level of service, please refer them on to me. I’d be happy to hear from them. Just mention that you’ve recommended them so that I know that it’s from you.”
So just get into the habit of asking for them.
#3 – Reward Customers Who Refer
Also, I’d recommend that you reward people. You reward the people who are referring to you and you reward your new customers.
Now you haven’t got to go crazy here. You’re not giving away a ton of money or anything like that, but you just need to make sure that you’re showing your appreciation for both parties.
Now, it could be that it’s a special offer for the new customer, let’s say you’re a personal trainer or a physio, it could be a free one-hour session.
And for the customer who’s done the referring, you could maybe give them some sort of physical gift just to say thank you very much.
Let’s say if you were a dentist, you can offer the new customer a free checkup, and then offer the referring customer an Amazon voucher or something like that.
So you just need to get into the habit of referring both the person who’s your new client and also the person that’s doing the referring itself and just be creative there. Try different things out, see what works.
#4 Use Referral Software
Also, consider using referral software. There are all sorts of tools out there that you can use and that way you can build into your daily communication. Things like emails or leaflets that you send out to people. You can just put a link on there that says: “We reward referrals, here’s the link.”
And you just put on your domain name (.co.uk or whatever it is) followed by ‘/referral’.
And that way, it just takes them there. And these kinds of tools, they can do all this sort of stuff. They can reward both people, they can keep a track of it, and that way you start to get much more visibility about who’s doing the referring, that sort of thing. So that’s number four.
#5 Build a Referral Network
Number five, build a referral network. And by this what I mean is, think about all the different people who you know, who are not competitors but are offering complementary services to you.
I’m sure you must know them locally around you. Build a referral network and pass people or recommend services amongst yourselves. There must be all sorts of related businesses.
If you’re a gardener you’re doing people’s gardens and then someone says, “Well, I’m thinking of getting X, Y, Z, built in my garden. I need a little bit of building work done,” you can refer to your friend, your colleague, whoever who’s got a building company.
So there are all sorts of ways that you can refer other businesses as well and they can do the same for you. So just build a referral network. So those are my five ways to get more referrals for your business.
OK, so in summary here’s what you need to remember:
One, make sure that you are referable.
Two, get into the habit of asking for referrals.
Three, reward people, reward your new customers, and reward the people that are doing the referring.
Number four, consider using a referral software.
And number five, build a referral network.
Thanks very much for your time, hope you found that useful, and I should see you soon with more hints and tips to grow your business. Thank you very much then. All the best. Bye-bye.