Referrals are the single most popular method that buyers use when selecting professional services. They rely on the advice of friends, family and colleagues to find the best people to work with. So how can you make sure you're at the top of that list?
1. Provide an outstanding customer service experience. This is the first, and most obvious, answer to that question. Want to get more referrals? Make sure the quality of your products and services are worthy of being referred in the first place.
2. Gather feedback as often as possible in the form of surveys and personal phone calls. You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey to create customer service surveys. They even offer a set of preset templates you can use and customize to your needs. Use that feedback to improve your customer service experience.
3. Welcome new clients in style with a formal on boarding process. This process might include sending a welcome gift and letter, and then scheduling a series of contacts in the first few weeks to ensure the client is engaged and satisfied. At the end of the on boarding process, ask for referrals.
4. Schedule regular personal visits with your clients. These visits are important a) so that you can listen to their problems and suggestions and address them, and b) so that you stay top of mind.
5. Hold a contest to see who can give the most referrals. Reward the winner by donating money to their favorite charity.
6. Partner with a company that has a similar client base. Speak at each other's events, guest post on each others' blogs and create joint services offers.
7. Show a referral discount price on your invoices.
8. Host a party and have a drawing for a prize (iPad, nice watch- something good). The catch? Only the clients who bring a guest can be entered to win.
9. Tell your clients exactly who would make a good referral. If you can narrow it down to a specific list of people/companies that they know, even better.
Once you have secured a referral, make the process as smooth as possible for your client (referral source) and prospect (referral). Follow these steps for a smooth and effective referral handling process.