That being said, one lead generation strategy that business owners tend to lean on more than others is referrals. So in this posting we are going to focus on how to increase your referrals this year.
So what are some key elements to increasing your referrals in 2012? Here are some items to consider:
- Person Referring
Service—building a referral based business all starts with service. I’m not talking about good service, or pretty good service but, off the charts your clients love you kind of service. The kind of service that has them talking about you when you are not there. The kind of service that builds Raving Fans. If your service is not awesome, fix that today before you embark on a plan to drive more referrals.
Person Referring—many business owners solicit all of their clients for referrals (or at least plan on it). The reality is that you should be soliciting referrals from your A & B clients. People associate with people like them. That being the case, why would you be asking your C & D clients to give you referrals of people just like them. Limit the number of people you put on your referral program to get the kinds of new clients you love.
Reward—when someone gives you a great referral, reward them. Lots of businesses give out a gift card or something like that—BORING. You know your A clients well enough to reward them with something that is personal (U2 tickets, Wake tickets, weekend in Savannah, etc.).
So how do you generate more referrals? Here’s a simple formula to keep in mind:
Story– what is the story of your business? What are you about? Why are you doing what you do and can your key clients describe it?
Service—see the comments above. Is your service off the charts? Do you stay in regular touch with your clients, surprise them with client parties, drop an extra pair of socks in the bag, etc. If your service is awesome, your referrals should be awesome.
Intention—what plan do you have to drive referrals? They don’t just happen, but are planned as a key marketing strategy.
Service X Story X Intention = referrals
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