If you remember back to Tom Poland’s great idea for getting referral leads (in my bonus Instant Marketing Insights interview series) you’ll already be gaining plenty of referrals.
But there are many other techniques, of course. Here are five things you can do to increase the number of referrals you receive.
1) Ask the right people.
Just as people buy from those they know, like, and trust, you need to have a relationship with the person you’re asking.
But it’s not possible to have great relationships with everybody you meet, so you need to be selective about where you focus your ‘relationship energy.’
You shouldn’t spend the same energy on a customer who has only purchased one entry level item from you in the last year as you would for a good customer who has a standing monthly order for your products.
2) Learn How to Ask.
People are unlikely to ask YOU if you want help promoting your products and services! But in most cases, people are happy to help when asked properly.
The key is to ask the right way. Instead of asking “will you (do something)” it’s much easier to ask “who” questions. For example, “who do you know who might be interested?” or “who else has a problem like yours.”
3) Set up a system.
See my report The FAST Marketing FOURmula, in the members area, for an easy follow up system.
In short, you should discipline yourself to do four simple activities, every day: send a thank you card, give out a business card, make a brief call or, yes, ask for a referral!
4) Make people feel comfortable.
It’s important to remember that people don’t like to feel like they are “selling” their friends to you.
That’s why Tom Poland’s technique is so powerful: asking people if they would be “comfortable” for you to give a ‘freemium’ such as your report, to people they know. It gives them an easy way to refer you without them needing to move outside their comfort zone.
Remember, if you invite them to comment on the report, as Tom suggests, you’ll get more and better referrals.
5) Give an unexpected reward.
People like to be appreciated, but they don’t like to feel you’re ‘buying their support’ by promising a reward in advance.
However, if you show your appreciation with an unexpected reward, such as a movie ticket or an iTunes card, they’ll be pleased, won’t feel guilty and will more willingly give a referral the next time you ask.
And when you send their gift, be sure to let them know how their referral worked out. For example, “the customer you referred, Mrs. Smith, just came in for her first appointment on Tuesday.”
Here’s a powerful tip: if you’re sending out a monthly newsletter then publicly thank those who gave referrals in the previous month. Remember to thank your customers for their help and referrals.
If you’re not sending out a regular newsletter, then you should be! You might want to consider my Lead Sensation product, which not only captures visitors to your website, but also adds them to a database and automatically sends a series of emails. After that, you can easily send a regular email to the database.
(For more information, see LeadSensation.biz)
In summary, generating referrals needs a well-designed strategy, a reliable system, and consistent activity. But the pay-off is worth it, because referrals are a high probability and highly profitable source of new customers.