Looking for referrals?
It’s common knowledge that referral business is great for your business on many levels. First of all, there is the fact that you are being recommended by someone who has already done business with you and has developed a trusted relationship. This alone speaks volumes to the new prospect, as there is already an inherit level of trust. Secondly, it results in deeper an longer lasting relationships.
We also have seen the statistics about how much it costs to get a new client, vs. the cost of keeping a client. Referral business, although not without some cost, is more about an investment of time than money.
Today, we reveal our simple, 6 step strategy to gaining referral business. Here’s the blueprint:
Identify the top 10% of your higher-level clients who you believe would be open to giving you a referral. (Try to keep the numbers below 50, as managing more in any one campaign can be difficult to manage properly). In some cases, you many have already received one or more referrals. And don’t make the mistake of automatically adding your biggest clients based on revenue alone. You want to make sure these are clients who you think are most likely to provide referrals.
In the first month, mail these clients a simple gift, like a Starbucks Coffee card. Be sure to include a handwritten note saying something like, “Thinking of you. Your next cup of coffee is on me.”. When mailing this gift, be sure to address the envelope by hand as well, and use a stamp on it, not your postage meter. This demonstrates personal attention and thought.
In the second month, mail them some information related to services or products that you think would be of interest to these folks, based on their individual history with you and your business.
In the third and fourth months, simply repeat steps 2 and 3.
In the fifth month, pay an impromptu visit to these clients to hand deliver a different simple gift. Try to find something that relates to your clients’ interests or hobbies. It needn’t be expensive; it’s the thoughtfulness that counts. Don’t overstay your welcome. As these are unplanned visits, keep them to about 10-15 minutes in length.
Keep working this program for the balance of the year, but in the fifth to sixth month, start asking these clients for referrals. You can do this in person or on the phone.
This process should result in tons of referrals, and you are likely to net about half of them as new clients.
The following year, keep those referring clients on a quarterly “maintenance program”, ensuring that they stay loyal to you. Then, identify another group of clients and run them run through this same program. .
This specific strategy dovetails perfectly with the ideal concept of a client service model that continues to add value and build business friendships. By mixing the components of added value and business friendship and respect, this program should keep you in referrals as long as continue to implement it.
Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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