Treat the referral with the value it deserves. It’s rather silly to get a qualified referral and let it slip through the cracks. You could lose a great opportunity, but worse, you will lose the respect of your customer or prospect who put their trust in you. When showing respect by handling the lead professionally, you will gain respect from your new lead. You should have a set process in place for how you will work with and communicate with them from the time you received their contact information right through the life of your relationship.”
There are various ways to ask for customer referrals.
- Follow up by e-mail to make sure that they are satisfied and, in the process and ask if they would refer your business to others. Offer an incentive like a free product, inspection, evaluation or service as a reward.
- Provide a link to a webpage or Web form. If you ask, some customers will provide a referral because they feel they are providing a service to their contacts.
- The best way is to ask them for referrals when you’re in a face to face situation. If they’re not sure, ask them to skim through their contacts. Every one of your clients has at least 20 ideal prospects for you sitting there in their address books just waiting for you!
When is the best time to ask? Immediately after they’ve just had a great experience with your business. What then?
Show appreciation. Reward your customers for loyalty, new business and referrals. Giving referrals is a very generous gesture on a customer’s part and you need to take the time to thank the individual who provided it. What gets rewarded often gets repeated.
Providing a referral is a very personal gesture and it deserves a very personal acknowledgement. “Thank You” handwritten notes/cards or appropriate small gifts are always appreciated.
Give feedback. A measure of professionalism is to provide feedback to the referrer. This is not only unexpected, but sets you apart. It’s also a great opportunity to get another referral.
Giving. How about providing referrals for your clients? There’s nothing quite like reciprocal business.
Remember to always give your existing customers enough attention! Regular follow up is vital and should be targeted and friendly. This also helps you to pick up and deal with service or quality problems early – before they become “relationship threatening.” After each deliberate customer contact, evaluate your own performance. By identifying what you could have done better each time, you improve your ability at managing key relationships, present and future!