5 Easy Ways to Increase Referrals

 In Be The Leader, Build Awareness, Create Loyalty, Drive Traffic, How To

We all know referrals are a fantastic way to grow your business. They come in with some pre-selling done, as they have heard great things about you from their friend, colleague or neighbor, who they presumably trust and like. They’re cheap to get (since you technically don’t have to DO anything except be referable), and chances are, they’ll be more loyal! Win win for everyone!

However, you can’t just wait for referrals to come to you. You need to proactively seek them out. Here are a 5 tips on how to increase referrals to your business:

1. Be referable. No one will refer you if you don’t follow through on promises, or have poor customer service.  Get your service, products and standards up to snuff before implementing a referral program! A happy customer is your best source for new business, and a referral is the highest compliment they can give.

2. Ask for them. Some people are uncomfortable asking for referrals. If you have a good relationship with your customer, you don’t want to (all of a sudden) appear too sales-y. But, as far as your customer knows, your business is doing just fine and you don’t *need* any new customers. Asking for referrals doesn’t have to be slimey. After a great experience with a customer, simply say something like, “I’m so glad your happy with our [work/store/services]. Please tell your [neighbors/colleagues/friends/family members] we’d love to help them with their [holiday shopping/private party/catering needs] as well! Here are some referral cards.” (See #4)

3. Ask for them online. Most word of mouth marketing is happening via social media. If a customer likes or shares your content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media network, they are basically saying to their friends and followers: “I like this company and want you to know about them/like them too.” So, make it easy for your customers to share content from your website, and ask them to share your content on Facebook!

4. Offer reward(s). The key is to offer rewards to both the referral and the referrer. Incentivizing your current customers to refer and also enticing new customer to come check you out doesn’t have to be costly, either.  The simplest one I’ve come across is the one my hair stylist gives me when I refer her new business: 10% off for me next time, and 10% off for my referral on their first visit.

5. But keep it simple. No one wants to give referrals if it takes up too much of their time. Make it simple: an online form where your customers can supply you with their friends email addresses for a special promotion or a card you hand out (like this). A fun idea would be to host a referral party – ask your regulars to bring in someone new for a special event at your store, and pass out vouchers for special offers in person!


How do you get referrals for your business? Share your success (or ask your questions) in the comments below!

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