Over 2.4 million business-related conversations happen in the U.S. daily. A testament that shows peoples’ interest in speaking of their experiences with companies to others – so begins business referrals, one of the most effective ways to keep the business going. The question is: what are the known ways on how to get business referrals?
Business referrals defined
A business referral happens when someone in your network talks about/recommends your company to new prospects. It isn’t forced, rather, it is spontaneous and a result of a conscious referral marketing effort. Stats show that referrals improve marketing efforts by 54% and businesses using referrals in their marketing strategies experience increased conversion rates up to 70% and 69% faster closer time. The number speaks of referral’s effectiveness in ensuring the business’s consistent stream of revenue.
How to increase referrals
Referrals are reviews, that is a simple truth. Businesses typically get referrals in two ways – by asking for it and by providing a high-quality service/product that buyers are compelled to share their experiences with others. There are, however, several more creative ways to get referrals.
Go beyond the expectation
Word of mouth has a very high turnover rate but it’s often difficult to get it. This kind of referral depends on loyalty and you need to earn it before you reap its benefits. The only way to propel a word of mouth is to impress and delight your customers that they can’t stop raving about your business. Become part of their journey and share their content on social media or cite their business on your website. Prove that you are indispensable to them.
Make your business the standard in your industry and make sure that you shine above everyone else. Your high-quality service will impel people to make a referral.
Appreciate their referral efforts
A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. People like it when their efforts are appreciated, it makes them feel special and important. It also prompts to do more. It is important to show your appreciation to clients who shared your business with others, don’t just take the new prospects without a follow-up. You can give them something of value – a gift check, a discount card, offer a new product, set up a loyalty program, and more.
Personalize your effort by sending them a handwritten note or a holiday card. You can also call to thank them for a new client they’ve sent in your way.
Engage your customers at all times
impressing your customers doesn’t end when they’ve made the purchase and they’ve shared your business with a couple of their friends. Provide high-quality sales journeys throughout their time as your customers. Invest in every customer relationship and continually engage them with your brand.
Stay in touch and invite them for opt-in emails. Provide them with additional offers, helpful information, and recommendations that will resonate with them. You can also offer them a community where they can freely share their opinion and share their experiences with your organization.
Ask subtlety and ask when the customers are happy
Get business referrals naturally and don’t push it to your customers. You need to approach them at the right time – when they’re happy. Talk to them after a successful purchasing transaction, after a matter is resolved, or after they’ve expressed positive feedback.
Ask customers a smaller request before going big with asking for referrals. A study by Stanford researchers found out that 52% of people will likely agree to larger requests if they’ve agreed to a smaller one first. So start small and be subtle about it.
Importance of business referrals
Social Media Today reports that 78% of B2B marketers turn to referral programs to get excellent leads and 60% say that referral programs result in a high volume of leads. The numbers show that business referrals help you grow your business one client at a time. It is tough, it takes effort and time, but it pays off tremendously. Referrals breed more referrals. A referred client is more likely going to repeat the process of forwarding the greatness of a business to another person.
There are so many marketing strategies available out there, some of which you may have tried and have seen its effectiveness. There’s inbound marketing, outbound lead, email campaigns, campaign ads, and more. These are all great marketing but these tactics may dent your financial capabilities. Referrals, on the other hand, require little to almost zero financial investment.
Asking for a referral is an important part of the process if you want to increase your business referral rate. Learn the proper timing when asking for it and explore some ways that will help ramp up your referral program.