As discussed in a previous article, Referral Marketing can result in serving more people, more satisfied customers, and more revenue. It can also free up your time by eliminating cold calling and chasing pseudo leads. This business building strategy can also save money on advertising and marketing.
All of that is possible, but only if it is done right. Unfortunately I’ve seen business owners make some serious missteps when trying to leverage referrals to build their business:
1) Asking for a referral to soon after a close.
Asking for a referral before your new client has had an opportunity to really experience your product or service is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. You don’t really know each other well, it feels awkward, and the person being proposed to is trying to figure out how to get out of there 🙂
People want to be comfortable recommending someone to their family, friends and colleagues. It takes time to build that comfort level and you work will speak for itself. Be patient, let the client get results and then make the request. Chances are they will connect you to their community because of the great service and benefits they get from working with you.
2) Asking everyone you’ve worked with for a referral.
It’s not about mass marketing. With referral marketing, you want to pick the top 20% of your fan base. Their enthusiasm is genuine and they often are happy to help! Chances are if they are your top raving fans, they know other potential clients who would be a good fit for you and whom you could effectively serve.
3) Not having a system or process in place to follow-up with referrals and referees.
You’ve been given a referral from someone. Now what? How do you contact the referral? What do you do with them? Are they a name on a slip of paper that gets filed away? Is the referee left wondering whatever happened? Create a system for contacting the referral within 24 hours of receiving their information, and for following up with the referee (even if it just an email to let them know you called and left a voicemail). Provide quality follow-up and service to those who do refer you – they are doing you a favor and helping to grow your business!
Avoiding these 3-referral marketing mistakes will support you in building a more profitable business (and even more raving fans). What is one step you can take to strengthen your referral marketing strategy?
Did you miss my 5 Strategies for Using Referral Marketing Techniques to Boost Your Bottom Line? Check it out here.