In today’s economy, it seems more difficult to find new customers. So maybe it’s time to go back to the basics. It doesn’t matter how many new marketing tactics you have available to you, there’s nothing like a happy customer telling a potential customer about your company. So here are some ways to help facilitate those conversations to get referrals.
Develop a partnership. Work with companies that sell complimentary products and services to yours and develop a mutually beneficial referral program between your businesses. For example, if you sell sporting equipment find a fitness center willing to work with you on special offers from each company.
Give back. Make a proposal to one of your favorite nonprofits that you will donate a percentage of your sales from those customers that are referred by the nonprofit.
Get involved. Become a leader in your community. Join organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or volunteer for a nonprofit organization. Not only will you contribute to your community, you’ll get an opportunity to meet people. Most people like to do business with local companies and will be more willing to work with you if you’re supporting an organization that they care about.
Create a referral program. Offer a special to customers who refer prospects to your business. You can offer a discount or a free service. But sometimes a lunch certificate or tickets to a local event will be more enticing because the reward goes directly to the one helping you out. You may have to test incentives to see what gets your customers excited.
Consider the money you spend on a referral program a part of your marketing budget. A customer who raves about you among their friends delivers a more qualified prospect to your business.