Having clients, customers & professional contacts do your marketing for you is a simple way to increase leads, decrease acquisition costs and raise closing rates. But too often businesses don’t have a strategy for driving referrals and assume that they’ll just come their way. But like any marketing effort, driving leads from referrals won’t happen automatically. So if you’re spending thousands on advertising channels but not investing in a referral strategy, here’s some key steps you should take.
1. Establish Your Goals
Like any marketing or advertising initiative, start your referral strategy with clear objectives tied to revenue. Goals such as the % of clients that refer, # of referrals per sales agent, closing rate of referred clients and average sale/purchase value of referred clients are good places to start. If you’ve never tracked referrals, this might seem like a shot in the dark, but comparing to your other marketing efforts is a good place to start.
2. Give Clients Something to Talk About
If you want to increase referrals, you’ll need to make sure your clients are more than just satisfied. Think about the difference between your promoters (clients that happily brag about you) and your passives (clients that can be wooed by your competition). A great client experience is the end-to-end journey from online research to after-sale follow up.
3. Make it Easy
Don’t make your customers & clients guess that you’d like them to send referrals or how they should send them. Create easy to use conduits, like a Referral form on your website and Facebook page. Then promote your referral program when you meet with clients and in your other marketing efforts.
4. Track Referrals
You should track referrals the same way you’d track any other lead source and marketing effort. If your pipeline includes tracking leads from Realtor.com, open houses, AdWords and email marketing, you should also be tracking your referral funnel. What gets measured gets done – so start tracking!
5. Say Thank You
If referrals are an important part of your business – which I assume you want them to be – you should be letting your referral sources know your appreciation. Keep them updated as you work with the client they referred, and say thank you when the sale closes! Whether or not offering referral incentives is right for your business, a thank you can go a long way.
If you’d like to get started with a referral program for your business, visit www.quicklinkt.com/start for your 30-day Free Trial of our Referral Marketing Platform.