Category: Client Retention

5 Steps To Supercharge Your Referrals and References

It is no secret that “word of mouth” or referral business is one of the most effective ways to bring in new clients while simultaneously strengthening relationships with your existing customer base. But even though it is extremely powerful and virtually free (or at most costs very little), very few business owners or coaches use it anywhere near it’s potential!

Consider this: if you got just one referral from each one of your clients, over the next 60 days you’d double your client base! What would that mean to your potential income and how many more people would you be helping in supportive and uplifting ways?

So, how do you maximize word of mouth in your business? Here are 5 Steps you can start to take right now…

  1. Really appreciate your clients and let them know consistently that you value them

This is the most important, yet overlooked element of creating endless referrals. Many businesses focus more on profits than on people. Focusing on profits alone can be detrimental to success and ‘Word of Mouth’ success comes from looking beyond just profit into how you can enrich your customer’s lives.

Action: At least once a month, take the time to communicate to your clients and show them you appreciate them. Send them something of value, something unexpected, a bonus report, a special piece of news you just found. Make it relevant to them and do it regularly.

  1. Create an exceptional experience each time they deal with you or your company

If you can make doing business with you an exceptional experience, your clients will want to tell a lot of people. People want amazing experiences!

Here is an example: There is a Life Coach who has a special relationship with a city coffee shop. Once every 8 weeks he invites his in-person clients to a ‘brain trust’ meeting and the coffee and cake is on the house. Every client that attends gets a card and a voucher from the coffee shop owner to say ‘Thank you for joining us today, we would love to see you again soon’. The voucher is a ‘buy one get one free’ coffee voucher. So they are encouraged to come back again. And because the coffee shop owner is exposing his business to potential new clients, the coach pays just the cost price on the coffee and cake his clients eat. Normally about 8 clients attend and the cost is around $30. Just a little extra touch can make dealing with your business that much more of an exceptional experience!

Action: What can you do now to add little things that make an exceptional experience? Perhaps you can use the above example or something similar in order to network with other professionals while simultaneously providing amazing value to your clients. Remember, start creating exceptional experiences today.

  1. Give your customers incentives for giving you referrals

If you’re being passive about referrals then you’re sitting on a gold-mine. Come up with ways of rewarding your clients for referring business to you. They could receive free gifts, such as a 90 minute coaching session with you, a certificate for a massage or a nice dinner, or perhaps even a financial reward (i.e. $100 Visa gift card). No matter what you choose, the key is making sure that whatever you choose to offer is something that your client will really be attracted to!

Action: Reward your clients for referring people to you. Come up with rewards that will be beneficial to your clients. If you work with clients who routinely use alot of equipment in their job or enjoy shopping, an Amazon gift card might be a very motivating reward for them! And if you are stumped on a gift idea, just remember that money is always a great motivator as well!

  1. Make it easy for clients to give you referrals

If you want to get lots of referrals, you must make it incredibly easy for your clients to tell their friends. Don’t expect them to go way out of the way to help you grow your business. Make it as simple as possible.

Action: Develop a ‘referral package’ that you give to your clients. Ask your clients to be an ambassador for your business as you wish to work with people similar to them. The package would include a professionally designed document explaining why referrals are important to you, and a series of referral cards/ invites/ links that your client can easily share with others and post to their social media accounts. Always make sure to present everything very professionally in order to increase the perceived value of your offer/ services and to put your best foot forward with your new potential clients!

  1. Ask at the right time!

When is the best time to ask for referrals? Any time! If you have followed the steps listed above…you’ve let clients know they are appreciated, you have consistently given them an exceptional experience, you have provided an enticing incentive to share your message with friends, and you have made it incredibly easy for them to do so. At this point, you should not only be able to ask your clients for referrals at any time, but you should also receive very positive results from it as well!

Action: The key is to do something now. Draft up an email today and just send it off to your clients letting them know how much you value them, how much you have enjoyed working with them in the past, and include something that is going to be helpful/ provide some value to their lives. Then over the next 4 to 6 weeks develop your ‘referral package’ and start to use it. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and take action…. Your business and new referral clients will definitely thank you for it!

 

Educate Your Customers

Educate them about what, you may be thinking. Well, consider this, many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. These are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, we can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay offer many-fold.