October 24, 2017
Word of mouth marketing works.
In fact, referrals are often one of the key factors influencing someone to work with you. For us, we account for about 90 to 95 percent of new business coming from referrals.
How many times do you see someone asking for recommendations on social media? When someone needs a professional, nine times out of 10 they ask their network who they know who does what they’re looking for.
So having a referral marketing plan in place helps ensure raving fans are telling others about you.
However, while we know the importance of asking for referrals, when it comes down to it, the asking part can feel awkward or even aggressive.
But when you believe in the value of what you offer you can feel good about having others tell the world about you. When you have the right mindset and a proven process in place, getting referrals is easy.
Here’s four ways to get more referrals that don’t feel desperate with examples you can use right now:
1. Set an Expectation for Referrals
Before you begin working with a new client, you can condition them to think of you as someone to send business to. That can look something like this:
“I am excited to work with you. When our project is completed, I know you will be thrilled with the work we did together. If you are happy with our work would you be willing to share us with others? Your referrals are how our business grows.”
You can also mention the incentive you offer for those referrals that result in a sale. For instance we offer $100 towards any website, SEO or marketing work as our way of saying “thanks.” (See point No. 4 below for more details on this.)
2. Ask for a Virtual Introduction
A really terrific way to get referrals is to ask a contact to do a virtual introduction with the prospect. Here’s how an e-mail like that goes:
Subject: Henry and Mike – A Virtual Introduction from (your name)
I’ve been working with Mike for three months and he’s done a terrific job at getting our bookkeeping up to date. I know you’re looking for a qualified bookkeeper so I thought I’d put you two together.
Mike, meet Henry from Company A. I have known him for five years and he has really made a name for himself in the industry. He’s been a really valuable to have in my circle. He mentioned he needs a good bookkeeper and I thought you could help.
Henry, meet Mike from Company B. Mike and I go way back. He is a real rock star when it comes to accounting. He makes sure our books are balanced at all times.
Here’s both of your contact information. Now reach out and connect!
Henry: 555-555-5555 <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> companywebsite.com
Mike: 444-444-4444 <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> mikecompanywebsite.com
3. Ask Happy Clients
The best time to ask a client for a referral is right after you finished working with them. They are excited about the results you generated and are ready to sing your praises to the world.
Here’s an example of such an ask:
Subject Line: FIRSTNAME, Quick Question.
I’m so glad you’re happy with our PRODUCT OR SERVICE. I love helping people like you so knowing you’re excited with the results made my day. Actually, it’s because of this that I was hoping to ask you a favor…
It’s my goal to help many more people like you. So I was wondering if you knew of any other people who could use my help? I’d love it if you could send a short note to them with a few kind words and asking them to connect with me?
4. Offer a Gift for Referrals
Giving a referral takes time and energy. When you make it worth their while, people are more likely to take the time to do it.
As a sign of your appreciation for their efforts, offer to give them a gift card, a referral fee, discount, or other gift if someone they refer you to hires you.
You can make a referral page on your website. Write an email to send to your clients and connections. Ask people in your Facebook groups. Let your vendors know you give rewards for referrals. Even put a teaser on the back of your business card letting others know.
Here’s some example text to use:
Get X for Referring Friends and Family: I’d love to give you [insert your referral gift here] for every person who ends up hiring me. It’s just a small token of appreciation as referrals are how we grow our business. Thanks for thinking of us!”
I hope these quick and easy examples have inspired you. Referrals are by far the most cost-effective way to build your business.
Being intentional about asking for referrals can unlock the door to unlimited growth. Here’s wishing you endless referrals.
As the founder, Susan Friesen brings a unique advantage to eVision Media clients by having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Computer Information Systems through the Thompson River's University. Her experience in the Web development industry since 1999 has gained her much insight and knowledge in how to effectively brand a business and then translate that to a user-friendly, search-engine friendly, custom designed website. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Film School multi-media program and also earned several certificates in technology through the University of Victoria and Athabasca University. She won the 2003-2004 Governor General's Bronze Academic Award for achieving the highest academic standing in a diploma-level post secondary program. http://evisionmedia.ca