Almost all of our new client projects come in through referrals. That means most of our new clients and leads come from others telling their friends, family and colleagues about us and suggesting they hire us.
Our most lucrative clients — and frankly our favorite clients — have been the results of someone else’s referral.
Imagine how different your life and your business would be if your phone rang every day, and your inbox had messages in it everyday from people who want to work with you because their friend recommended you? Imagine how much less stress there would be over marketing? What a relief!
Here are 5 marketing tips to help you build a successful referral based business:
Referral Marketing Tip 1: Typically 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients.
Many business owners spread themselves too thin trying to make every person they come in contact with over-the-moon happy… If you have the team to do it, go for it and you’ll be rewarded. But if you’re a entrepreneur or micro business, you many want to think about adapting this belief. Continue to serve everyone well no matter what, but focus on delivering the highest, most outstanding customer service and client experiences for the 20%. If can do that, your business will drastically change for the better. Your biggest clients will spend even more with you, refer more of their clients, peers, and network to you, and become huge brand evangelists for your company.
Referral Marketing Tip 2: Share your ideal client profile with your referral network
One of the biggest barriers to receiving loads of referrals is an unclear ideal client profile. If your referrals partners, clients, and customers don’t know who is a perfect fit for your products, programs, and services, it will be difficult for them to identify their own friends, family peers, and contacts who would greatly benefit from hiring you, buying from your company, or learning from you — and in turn difficult for them to refer people to you.
Referral Marketing Tip 3: Build a brand, a reputation around the one thing you do better than anyone else so it’s easy to attract referrals
When someone refers another to you, they need to feel confident that you’re going to deliver on the promises they made on your behalf and live up to all the great things they said about you. If they aren’t crystal clear on what you are a complete rockstar at, they will be less likely to refer business to you. Why? Because they can’t be reassured you’re going to kill it for their referral. People want to do business with experts, not mediocre Jacks-of-all-Trades. If you offer too many different services or do too many different things, people will get confused and they won’t know what to refer people to you for. On the other hand, if you build a brand and a reputation about being an expert on one thing, it becomes incredibly easy for others to refer business to you anytime they meet someone who needs that same thing.
Referral Marketing Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. People want to give them to you, they often just don’t know how or if you need them
Your happy customers and satisfied clients want to give you referrals! They want to hep their friends and contacts who are struggling find the same success they have … but sometimes they may think you don’t need their referrals (Crazy, I know!), or they aren’t sure how to refer people to you, or they aren’t sure who would be best to refer to you. Help them out by making the ask! Reach out to your clients and customers, share with them your ideal client profile, and ask them if they know anyone who fits that description and who would benefit from working with you.
Referral Marketing Tip 5: The best time to ask for a referral is right after someone has complimented your work
Uncomfortable asking for referrals? No problem! The easiest, most hassle-free, painless time to ask for a referral is right after a client or customer has complimented your work. If you’re speaking with a client on the phone and their raving about working with you or being in your program, take a moment to thank them and honor their praise, then casually mention that you do have openings for new clients or you are looking to fill a new program, then ask them if they know of anyone who may be a great fit or who may benefit from the same results they have experienced. You can use the same approach by email too!