With the recession in full swing, any local business can have a very difficult time reeling in new customers. In these desperate times, creative measures are required. Currently, referrals have become one of the most important and popular marketing tools. This is because unlike advertising, referrals give businesses the credibility which is extremely important in persuading individuals and converting them into new clients.
1. Ask for referrals from satisfied customers.
This is naturally because satisfied and happy customers are more likely to endorse businesses than those who are left wanting. So if you know any customers who are very thrilled with the services that you have rendered or the products that you have sold, it would be to your best advantage to strike up a conversation with them. Start by saying how much you appreciate their patronage and how you hope to have more customers like them. This sincere compliment will serve as an indirect motivation for them to refer your business to their family and friends.
2. Give incentives to staff for referrals.
We have heard it being said time and time again that it pays to put premium on human resources. And that’s quite correct too. Since it is people who know most about your business including the ins and outs of it, then it only follows that your people should be the best ones to talk about your business to potential customers. Give your employees the motivation to promote your business to their family, friends and acquaintances by providing incentives. And since your employees can give the soundest pieces of advice about best buys and great deals they sure won’t have a hard time convincing people.
3. Reciprocate referrals.
There are some businesses that benefit from the referrals made by other businesses. For instance, an orthodontist can have a handful of referrals from a generalist. However, how will the generalist truly feel appreciated by the orthodontist if all he or she gets is a card for Christmas? This is why it is extremely important for businesses that receive referrals to also receive the favor. In the same example, orthodontists can refer family members of their patients to the generalist. At the end of the day, both businesses merit from these referrals.
4. Reward customers for their referrals.
Don’t just give your customers the reason to refer you with impeccable service, give the motivation to do so as well. Freebies and sales perks like simple coupons will mean a great difference.