As the ‘good book’ says “ask and you shall receive”
In sales, it is often said ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’. I would also add – “If you don’t ask for the sale, or for a referral, people can’t say yes”.
In a world of technology and digital marketing, one of the most powerful marketing opportunities is referral marketing or ‘word of mouth’ as it is often known.
However, most businesses do very little to actively work on their referral marketing and rather rely on doing a good job and ‘hoping’ people will recommend them. This results in a general lack of referrals and sales.
In this document, we provide our clients with four systems for winning business from referral marketing
- Turn satisfied customers into raving fans
- The referral RESULTS System
- The written word
Before that let’s discuss your target market
Who could refer business to you? The truth is – anyone! However, there are people who are more likely to do so. These people include:
- Current, or past clients
- Prospects you did not convert
- Networking contacts
- Family and friends
- Friends of friends, customers, prospects, and your prospects contacts
The truth about referral
The truth about referrals are…
You are sitting on a ‘pot of gold’. A massive amount of CASH that all you need to do to get it is to ASK FOR IT.
Let’s look at the numbers. In this example, we just consider your current clients (but the same idea applies to everyone).
Let’s assume that you have 100 clients (just so we can talk percentage). Out of those 100 clients, 2% of them would not give you a referral (no one is perfect and let’s assume something went wrong with these two clients). Out of the remaining 98%, a full 20% have referred someone to you over the past year.
That leaves 78 people who would recommend you, but they just haven’t. Why?
- They are not focussed on recommending you
- They did not think you were looking for referrals (you always appeared to be very busy)
- They are busy and have not given it any thought.
So you now have 78 prospects who could refer you to the people that they know. Not only that but of the 20% who have already referred you, could you ask them for another referral?
Answer – OF COURSE YOU COULD!
Let’s look at the numbers
Let’s say you turn over £1,000,000. Currently, £200,000 comes from referrals from 20% of clients who refer you now. So that’s an average of £10,000 per referral. Let’s say you implemented a referral system in your business that managed to get a referral from 50% of people. Some of those people may give you lots referrals whilst others don’t give you any.
However, with these sorts of referrals, you would increase your turnover by £300,000 to £1,300,000pa. Not a bad ROI for NO marketing cost!
You then implement one, or all of the four ideas discussed
Turn satisfied clients into RAVING FANS
Why do people give you referrals? Because they are delighted with the products and/or services you provide.
So the questions are – How can you turn satisfied clients into Raving Fans? Raving Fans are not just satisfied with the service, or products you provide, but rather they:
- Love what you do, or your products
- You love working with them
- They buy from you again and again and would not buy from anyone else
- Recommend you on a regular basis.
All that said – All you need to do now is to work out what you need to do in your company to turn satisfied customers into Raving Fans. Obviously, I don’t know all your businesses and so I can’t tell you what you need to do in order to achieve this. However, I can tell you that one of the units in my consultancy service called RESULTS is all about creating Raving Fans. Take a look at www.stevemills.co
Having said that. Here is a list of the type of things you might want to focus on.
- Your new client induction process
- The look and feel of your building, shop, office and the people that work for you
- Your user surveys
- Doing something that none of your competition does
The RESULTS Referral System
The results referral system is the most powerful system there is for winning more referrals. The system basically involves ASKING.
As the good book says – ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. AS many sales training courses state – IF YOU DON’T ASK, PEOPLE CAN’T SAY YES!
The question is how do you ask? Do you say – “Do you know anyone else who would be interested in the services we provide? If you do, then you are doing exactly the same thing as most people who ask for referrals. This way of doing it produced average results.
If you want above-average results, then learn, understand and use the system below:
Q1 – How long have you been in business?
Q2 – So I suppose in the time you have probably met a lot of other business people, haven’t you?
Notice the words “haven’t you” at the end. This is called a “yes tag” because it encourages a “yes” answer.
Q3 – From what you have said during our meeting you are very pleased with the service we have provided for you. Is that correct?
You have just got your second YES! (It important to get someone saying yes in order to get to the big YES at the end)
Q4 – Like most businesses, we tend to get many of our customers through word of mouth and as you stated we have increased your profit over the past six months by about 40%. I was wondering who in your opinion would be the top four people for me to contact so that we can benefit them, the way we have benefitted you?
Note the words “who you know” and not “Do you know anyone”
Q5 – May I ask for your advice?
This question almost always gets a “yes” since people love to be asked for their advice.
Q6 – Which of the people you’re thinking of would you advise me to contact first so that they can benefit in the same way that you have benefited from our service/products?
Q7 – So that it is easier for them to take my call. It’s OK to use your name, isn’t it?
This is a key question. Unless you can use their name when you follow up you don’t really have a referral – merely a cold lead. Notice how the question makes it easier for you to get permission by explaining the benefit to their contact of using their name as a referee – And notice the “yes tag” at the end of the question.
We call this section bribery (slightly tongue in cheek), but this is all about incentivising people for referring business to you. This can be done either upfront or backend. In other words, you can advertise this, or you can do it as a thank you.
The first thing to consider is – What are you going to give as your bribe? You could give a:
By the way, we give £100 to Cancer Research UK for every referral that we get. Just a thought!
The key to doing this successfully is giving enough to incentivise someone in order to get them to take action.
The written word
The last of the ways I wanted to include in this document I call ‘the written word’. The written word involves writing and asking people for referrals.
Before I continue with this section I would like to say that out of the four ideas I have shared in this document this is by far the worst one. Don’t make the mistake of sending someone a written message instead of calling and asking for a referral. Asking will outperform writing 10 to 1.
However, it is another opportunity and should be used.
So, the first thing we need to consider is where are you going to write text asking for a referral? The options include:
- The footer of your email
- You social media profiles
- The PS in a sales letter
- A referral page on your website
- Emailing and asking for a referral
- Etc, etc
The second thing to consider is – What are you going to say? Here are my thoughts?
I don’t know about you, but we win a significant amount of our business from word of mouth or referrals. In fact, last year we won 48% of our business from referral.
This being the case, I wanted to ask you a question. Who do you know that wants to grow their business and who might need our help?
As you know we help people in three ways.
Firstly, we help people who don’t understand modern digital marketing methods to do so.
Secondly, we work with people who simply don’t have the time to implement their own marketing, or at best do it ‘when business is quiet’. These people ask us to do the work for them.
The third group are people who run successful businesses but don’t really do any marketing. Rather they rely on referrals, networking and repeat business. These people are often underperforming and they are now ready to leverage their business and to take it to the next level.
To recommend someone to us simply call us on 07977 074497, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The key factor in any marketing activity is knowing what works and what doesn’t. Remember, it’s those who keep records that break records.
For details of the many other ‘Stealth Marketing’ approaches you can use to market your business, without your competition knowing, go to www.stevemills.co