One of the most cost effective ways to grow your business is by letting your customers do the selling for you via referrals. Here are a few tips on how to grow your business through customer referrals:
- Create a customer referral program. For example, provide custom printed referral cards that provide an exclusive discount to new customers. Also reward existing customers based on how many new customers they recruit.
- Educate your customers with the information they need to market your products. Make sure your customers have access to adequate print literature, website links, blogs, newsletters, and other materials relevant to your company.
- Differentiate your business based on a key feature or benefit you offer that your competition doesn’t, such as free shipping or low-price guarantees. These differentiators make great selling points to entice new customers.
- Ask for referrals. If you’ve just talked to a happy customer who complimented your business, ask if they would be willing to refer others on your behalf.
- Popularity sells. If your business has a very high number of referrals, promote the fact on your marketing materials and website. For example, “More than half of our new customers are derived from customer referrals” would make a great tagline somewhere on your website or in your product literature.
- Ask new customers how they learned about your business. It’s always exciting to see real-world results from your marketing efforts, especially from word-of-mouth.
- Include a statement on the back of your brochures, business cards, and other collateral that encourages customer referrals. “A customer referral is the finest compliment we can receive” would be a good example.
Don’t forget to show your sincere appreciation to customers who refer others to your business. A handwritten thank you note is a great way to follow-up, and that one extra step will reinforce the reasons why they recommended you in the first place.