A solid marketing plan, and using a reputable lead-generating company like Benepath, are great ways to get new customers. But you shouldn’t underestimate the power of referrals. Around 85% of small business owners say word-of-mouth referrals are the number one way prospective customers find out about their business. While referrals can be a big boost to your bottom line, it can feel awkward to ask your customers for them. With a little creativity, though, and our top 5 tips, you can get referrals that will help grow your business.
1. Be Prepared To Ask
If you want referrals, then you need to be confident and make asking a natural part of your interactions with customers. Waiting around to ask for referrals could mean missing out on a lot of new business. Try making referrals a lighthearted part of your initial conversation. Your approach can be something as simple as, “If I do a great job and get you a great deal, then you will tell others about it. Deal?”
2. Know The Right Time To Ask
While you don’t want to miss out on a referral by waiting around, you also need to read your customers and know when to ask. It’s a case-by-case kind of situation – you know your clients best and can figure it out by focusing on their personality. For example, jumping in and asking the moment that your transaction is complete could turn some customers off. With these customers, you might need to establish a relationship first, or they might need time to process your transaction and make sure they are fully satisfied. For other customers, some well-placed compliments might help. Some customers are most excited and pleased with you right after they make their purchase, so they might be more receptive to a quicker request for a referral.
However you decide to ask, make sure that you check in with your customer before you do to make sure they are happy with your service and the plan you delivered. Offer exceptional customer service, and you will find that happy customers are happy to help you.
3. Make It Easy For Them To Refer You
You can’t get referrals if your customers don’t know that you’re looking for them, or if they don’t know how to refer you! If you want to make it clear where and how they can refer you, then you can:
- Add a line in your email signature noting your interest in referrals.
- Include referral information on your business card.
- Mention referrals in the follow-up emails you send them.
- Thank your clients and ask if they have friends that need your help.
- Incentivize referral requests with a referral program.
- Ask for testimonials on your site. 85% of consumers trust online reviews and recommendations.
4. Ask For Feedback
Get a feel for what is working and what is not in your business so that you can understand what it will take to get more referrals. Ask your current customers what they like and don’t like about your service. Listen to their feedback, and show them that you care about them and their needs. You want to blow your customers away and exceed their expectations so that they will go out of their way to recommend you to others. Think about how you feel when you eat at a restaurant and end up loving the food. The next thing you want to do is recommend the place to your friends so they can enjoy it too.
The saying “you get what you give” applies in the insurance business, too. You can help grow your network by referring your customers’ businesses to others. This simple action will make them more inclined to do the same for your business. If you work with a real estate agent who helps you buy a house or an event planner who helps plan a party for you, then share their information with others. Establish a mutually beneficial relationship with these companies and you can both grow.