If I had to choose one effective Internet marketing tool, a business referral program would be right at the top of the list. Whether your business is on-line or off, a good referral program will increase your profits.
Another word for referral is “word of mouth”. If you can just get enough people talking about you in a positive manner and sending customers to you, you will have more business than you can handle! A business referral is priceless.
Don’t Wait for Your Customers To Send You Referrals
Many on-line business owners feel they can only get referrals by a customer taking the time and initiative to tell a friend or acquaintance about them. The truth is, most customers will forget to mention you or only tell others about you if asked. You will get some referrals by treating customers well, but the number may be limited to a few.
Ask For Referrals!
Use the methods below to initiate referrals from your present customers. The most important thing to remember is that when a potential buyer is referred to you by a happy, satisfied customer, half the sale is already made. That’s the benefit of getting referrals!
Who Do You Ask for a Referral?
A happy, satisfied customer.
What Do You Ask?
When writing to a customer to ask for a referral, first reinforce the benefits, value, and contentment that customer has just experienced with your company. Write and thank them for purchasing your product (some companies send a thank you note or e-mail just saying thank you first — this way the customer doesn’t think you’re just trying to get something from them).
A day or two later, send the customer a second thank you and mention some of the benefits he/she experienced while dealing with your company such as prompt service, great quality, help with a problem, etc. Once you’ve reminded them of the benefits, politely mention that he/she may know someone who would benefit from your company’s product or service. Ask the customer if he/she can think of anyone who would save time, money, and headaches by purchasing from your company.
Why Should the Customer Give You a Referral?
The customer should give you a referral because it could benefit their friend. If he/she has a friend that is going to be purchasing the product or service that you offer, he/she has an obligation to tell that friend about your site, especially if it is going to save them time or money, doesn’t she?
When Do You Ask for a Referral?
The best time to ask for a referral is right after the customer purchases from you. Your customer is still excited about his recent purchase and will happily talk about it with friends!
Where Should You Ask for Referrals?
As I mentioned earlier, a second thank you letter would probably be best. Or, you could make a quick phone call in some instances. The first thank you should show your appreciation for the purchase and how much you value the customer. If your company is on-line, you can send both the first thank you and the referral letter via e-mail. This will save money, time, and paper. If the customer has already purchased from you, he/she expects to hear from you again.
How Should You Ask for the Referral?
Ask for your referral in a way that’s irresistible to the customer. Take the time to calculate how much one customer is worth to you over a period of one year (in other words, how much will that customer spend with you based on the nature of the product?). Once you’ve established that the customer has benefited from your company and knows someone else who would benefit, you’re ready to ask for the referral.
Make your offer irresistible and, if possible, ridiculous!!! If you calculated that the average customer spends $1,000 per year with your company, then would it be worth it to offer a $100, or maybe even a $200 incentive for them sending a new customer to you?
After all, you probably would have never had that customer if not for the referral. That new customer may spend thousands of dollars with your company over the next several years. If that happens, it would really be worth the investment, wouldn’t it? I know what you’re thinking, that’s too much money! But, before you decide against it, try testing your offer and see if it brings in traffic.
The funny thing is, some people will never ask for the referral fee, they’ll send you the business just because they like you!!! Try it on the next customer that purchases your product or service. You can’t afford not to get referrals!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Candice Pardue is the Web-master and Co-Creator on On-line Success for Internet Business. Learn more secrets about the power of business referrals through affiliate programs, and why this technique has been one of the most effective sales methods for online businesses… http://www.online-success-tips.com/