Referral Systems that work!
We hear it every day: “I want more Leads” and “I just need more phone calls” or “If I just had more jobs scheduled!” A lot of the time, this leads small businesses into paying for leads or calls, pouring money into worthless advertising, but that isn’t any type of sustainable practice.
Why not focus on the groups of people out there who UNDERSTAND YOUR business and LIKE YOU already?!?!
Referrals are leads that have already been warmed up for you which lends to a much quicker sales cycle. These are priceless commodities, however most of the time, referrals are a marketing after-thought.
It’s time to make referrals a main avenue for new business!
Who makes for good Referral Sources?
Now for service-based businesses, there are typically two groups of people that make for great referral sources: 1.) Your Current Client base and 2.) your Partners (more on this below)
First, let’s start with your Current Client base.
These folks have been through your process, they (hopefully) had a great time working with you or having you work for them. And they live in your service area! Let’s hope they belong to a large family!
Kidding aside (well, half-kidding), these people can become a part of your sales force and their close-rate is going to be stellar! People love a trusted referral, especially in this service-based business world.
Why chance it with a random Google search for a plumber when your good friend has a “guy?”
The key is having a referral system that is worth-while: No “$5 off” or “10% discounts.” Those are trash offers. Well, I applaud you for at least having some type of offer. But is $5 going to keep you at the top of their mind?
Offer a $25 gift card, or dinner at a nice restaurant in town. Maybe a “Free” service for next time or a “Next one’s on us” discount for something simple that you offer.
Why should they continue to refer business your way? Always keep that in the back of your mind when reviewing your Referral Strategies.
I’m not saying break the bank or come out just even on these deals. You know your worth, there’s something of value you can put out there.
Check out what other businesses are doing to spread the word through referrals.
Next, your Partners
These are going to be other businesses that you work with or for, maybe a carpet cleaner and a restoration business, or an electrician and an HVAC contractor. Maybe a vendor or supplier? These are all potentially valuable and effective streams of referrals.
Make sure they’ve always got your business cards. But if you want to really take it to the next level, create your “Referral” cards. Similar to a landing page for an ad, these Referral cards need to be hyper-focused on one thing only: Informing the recipient of the Perks associated with the referrals.
Present the card to redeem the offer, maybe it’s even a punch card! Again, it’s going to depend on your specific services and offers. But have fun! Make it fun. Fun things are remembered! Keep that in mind.
For example, here at Big West Marketing, if our of our clients refers us someone and they end up coming aboard, I hand write them a check for $100 and send it to wherever they want. That’s not deducted from their monthly payment or some type of voucher they need to use with us, that is $100 that they can do what they like with!
This is also a great time for me to check in on that particular client. Things get so busy and hectic, sometimes these “good news” calls are a welcomed relief! Always a pleasure to talk about wins! Let’s celebrate them more often!
How to create a Referral System that’s right for your business
When you are looking to open up that pipeline for more leads, more calls and more jobs, follow these simple steps to put together a referral system that will make you more money:
1.) A STRONG offer
- Who doesn’t like a gift? Make it special!
- Why should these folks refer you? Aside from you being an awesome business, there’s got to be a reward.
- These could be discounts on future services, cash, etc. Get creative! Fun things get remembered, remember!
2.) A system for spreading the word about your Referral Program
- Have a page on your website that explains your Referral program
- As a part of each new job, inform the client of your program and how they can save in the future!
- Carry around “Referral Cards” with the details of your program and why it’s important
3.) Always be thinking!
- Be on the look out for new ideas or systems that you can use for your own business
- What would inspire you? Ask your current clients, be open with them! Transparency is a great method for building trust!
Let us know what you come up with! Again, it should be a fun program and a fun idea. Get thinking!