Let’s face it; most people do not like cold calling. While it’s sometimes a necessary tactic in new business development, it is typically not the highest on the “fun scale”. As an alternative, how about you let your customers do the talking. In other words, get them to generate the referrals for you!
In my experience, the customers you get through referrals become the best kind. They are the ones who remain loyal to your brand because they come to you with the trust of knowing that someone they know trusts you.
But how do you generate additional referrals? Here are a few quick tips:
Target your most loyal clients
Good business is all about building solid relationships. Chances are you have some customers that you see time and time again. If you continue to wow them with your services, they will be likely to refer you to their family or friends.
Have a stack of business cards ready to hand out to happy customers. If you’ve made a good impression, there is a good chance those cards will end up in the hands of someone else, which means you might just get a call! Don’t shy away from giving them out at events, mixers, fundraisers, or the myriad other events where you start up conversation.
Build relationships with others in your industry
If you work in the medical field, you probably see a lot of other medical professionals. Build relationships with those people. It’s not unheard of for an optometrist to refer a patient to his friend the knee surgeon. The patient-caregiver relationship often runs deep, which means a referral from a trusted expert can mean a lot!
Reward your clients
Offer discounts or special offers in exchange for referrals. It’s easy to forget to tell a friend about a new favorite business in the hectic work week, so give your customers an incentive and a reason to remember.
Let your clients know you want to be referred
Tell them upfront that you want them to be so happy with their experience that they will go out and tell all of their friends. Then make it happen! Go into every customer experience as if you are determined to generate a referral. I bet your chances of success will go way up!
Referrals are one of the best bang-for-your-buck ways to get your brand name out. And the rewards are substantial. You will build a loyal network of customers who keep on coming back – and bringing their friends!