According to research by Nielson, 84% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. Additionally, consumers are four times more likely to buy from a particular business when it’s been referred by a friend.
So clearly, gaining high-quality referrals from your existing clients should be a key part of your strategy. And to help you put that strategy together, we’ve listed 10 techniques to get the referrals pouring in.
- Be referrable
Let’s start with the most important. Be excellent at what you do, and your existing clients will be proud to recommend you – they may even do so without prompting.
- Look for ways to improve
You may be excellent at what you do, but there’s always room for improvement. Send out surveys asking your clients for feedback and take action based on what they say. This is not only a way for you to improve your services (and your chances of getting a referral), it also shows your customers that you value them.
- You don’t ask, you don’t get
According to research from Texas Tech University, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer others, but only 29% actually do so – possibly because they’re never asked. By asking your clients to refer you and letting them know their recommendations are appreciated, you’ll likely end up with more referrals.
- Strike while the iron’s hot
It’s not enough just to ask, you need to ask at the right time. While it typically makes sense to ask once the deal is closed, consider doing so at a particular high point during the client’s experience
- Make sure your clients are up to speed
Your clients may only use you for one particular service, so be sure to clue them in on what else you offer so they pass on the full picture when referring you.
- Sweeten the deal
Offer your clients incentives for referring you to others. This could come in the form of a bottle of wine, working lunch, or a gift card – you decide what you think they’d appreciate most.
- Form a mutually beneficial relationship
Partner with other service providers who offer a complementary service in your field and refer each other. You could even offer packages whereby customers get a reduced rate for contracting both services at the same time. Be sure that you have faith in the work of the other provider, however, as it’ll reflect badly on you if your customer’s experience isn’t up to scratch.
- Create shareable content
Provide high-quality content such as blogposts and market insights for your clients to share with their network. This is not only a way for them to refer you, but also helps position you as an authority in your field. Make sure it’s easy for clients to share your content by including buttons to share on social media and by email.
- Leverage LinkedIn
Use LinkedIn to make a list of your client’s contacts that you’d like to be referred to. You can do this by searching for second degree contacts (people they know but you don’t) who are potential new clients. Knowing who to refer you to makes it easier for your client – and therefore more likely they’ll follow through on their word.
- Provide alternatives to referrals
Not all clients feel comfortable giving referrals, and if this is the case, it’s important to respect their decision. You could, however, ask them to recommend you through other avenues such as case studies, testimonials, or reviews to be published on your website.
Cultivating client referrals should be an integral part of your strategy. After all, referred clients have a 16% higher lifetime value than other clients. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to bringing in the referrals you deserve.
Do you have any tips on getting high-quality client referrals? Let us know in the comments.