Best Way to Get More Customers
Free and Easy Marketing
The best and easiest way to acquire more customers is to get direct referrals from your current happy and loyal customers. It’s FREE and EASY, and by the time your prospect receives a recommendation, they’re already half sold. All you have to do is close the deal.
12 Ways to Get More Referrals
1. Ask for Referrals
Asking for referrals is the most direct and easiest way to get referrals. Don’t be shy about it! If you’ve delivered good work, then your customers will be happy to refer you! Simply add this at the end of your customer/client experience.
At the end of projects with our clients, we ask, “Who do you know that you think would benefit from our services? Would you mind introducing us?”
Asking for an introduction is a lot less desperate than asking someone to buy or sign up for your services immediately. It’s an easy and non-threatening way to get referrals.
2. Give Referrals
To get more referrals, start referring your clients and people you know to service providers you trust. Referrals are often reciprocal; you’e got to give some to get some. The more “Referral Relationships” you can build, the better. It can be a good idea to discuss referral partnerships with trustworthy business you’d like to work with.
For example, we have referral partnerships with Printers, Insurance Agencies, and other businesses that benefit our clients. We refer our clients to them and they return the favor. Again, it’s free and easy (and it helps your client, which helps improve their customer experience).
3. Offer Free Consultations
By offering a free consultation, your referrers can send people your way without worrying about a financial obligation. Be sure to remind your referrers of your free consultation (both when you ask initially and periodically when you remind them that you’d love continued referrals).
Did you know that Wilson Media Consulting offers free consultations?
4. Make it Easy for Your Referrers
You want to eliminate as many obstacles as possible that will prevent a prospect from contacting you. Help your referrers by making sure they have the tools they need to refer you: business cards, brochures, or other marketing material with your contact information. And obviously, be sure to return emails and phone calls promptly.
5. Reward Your Referrers
Find a token of appreciation that will be appropriate to your referrers. Depending on your business, this could be free services or services, cash, or an entry into a contest. It just needs to be something that your referrers would be interested in and is appropriate for your business.
We like to give our referrers the choice between $50 cash or 3 hours of free services ($90 value) for each referral. We also run occasional contests to encourage referrals.
6. Reward Your Referrals
In addition to giving a token of appreciation to your referrers, also offer something free or discounted to the referral. This will help your referrers feel good about helping their friends out by sending them to you (instead of just helping themselves out for their own reward).
7. Stay in Touch with your Clients
Keep up the communication with your clients to let them know that you’re thinking about them. Don’t ignore them for 2 years and then come back and ask them for referrals. Whether you stay in touch via email, newsletters, snail mail, phone calls, or a combination of all – you want to stay on the minds of your customers so they will think of you during the next referral opportunity.
8. Old Fashioned Courtesy
In addition to rewarding your referrers, be sure to show them some old fashioned courtesy by sending a hand-written thank you note. This is a great personal way to say thank you. If the referral turns into a big client for you, be sure to send another more grandiose thank you to the original referrer, like flowers, gift certificates, goody baskets, etc.
9. Update the Referrer
If you’re a landscaper, and you designed and built a beautiful landscape for a new client from a referral, send some pictures to the original referrer to say thanks and show them what their referral created. This is such a satisfying reward to your referrer that they will be motivated to send you more referrals, knowing that you create beautiful work for your clients (and they get to be a part of it).
10. Contribute to your Community
People love doing business with good businesses. And by “good businesses” I mean business that actually “do good.” So pick a cause that you believe in and donate your time and money to support them. This will help you in 4 ways:
- Personal Reward: you get to feel great for being part of something that’s near and dear to your heart.
- Networking: you get to meet new people who may need your services.
- Promotion: you’ll likely get some sort of public acknowledgement for your involvement.
- Referrals: people like referring to businesses who are involved in the community.
11. Join a Networking Group
The best networking groups are those that really focus on referrals and limit their membership to one person per industry. However, beware that some of these networking groups can be expensive (and sometimes the free ones aren’t that effective).
So shop around and ask for recommendations for networking groups in your area. These groups can be a great source for referrals AND motivation to keep giving and getting them.
12. Get Referrals by Taking a Tour
I read this post that was directed to the self-storage industry, but I think it could apply to a lot of businesses. It talks about asking your potential referrer to give you a tour of their business so that you can get to know their company better, which will help you refer them. This is part of the recipicrocal referral process I mentioned above – you must give referrals to receive referrals.
Taking a tour is a great way to build your relationship and create an emotional connection that will help them think of you when they have an opportunity to provide a referral for your industry.
The post also suggests taking pictures or video, both of the tour and of the two of you, and follow-up with some Facebook and Twitter posts and an email. All of this sounds like a great way to build a strong relationship, which is a good foundation to future referrals.