A Powerful and Inexpensive Way to Get More Clients
In this article I’m going to show you how to get more clients by using a maneuver that nearly all of use periodically. It’s a tactic that can land you lots of new customers without you spending a dime to acquire them.
The problem with this tool is that it’s rarely formalized, and as a result business owners significantly underachieve on reaching their full potential.
The power of referral marketing
So what’s this powerful, inexpensive tactic that offers such an amazing customer building opportunity for business owners?
Yep – referrals. Referrals are one of the most powerful sales generating tools around. And all too often marketers fail to reap the full rewards that referrals bring because they don’t have a formalized, systematic process in place.
How referrals generate their power
Referrals get their power from the fact that consumers are naturally inclined to be weary of advertisements and sales pitches. To get around this weariness, we consumers instead resort to asking our family and friends for advice. Since we tend to trust the advice of our loved ones and assume that they have our best interests at heart, we tend to act on their referrals.
And of course… seeking out advice is significantly easier than doing our own research! Why not follow the advice from someone that has your best interests at heart, and has already done the research and experimenting for you?
Science proves it!
Studies show that:
- Consumers are 200% more likely to pay attention to recommendations that come from friends than from any other source
- According to the Wharton School of Business, a referred customer has a lifetime value that’s 16% higher than those of non-referred customers
- 83% of satisfied customers say that they’re willing to refer, while only 29% of them actually do! (This means there’s a significant opportunity to for you.)
So there you have it. Referrals results in more customers, increases the value of customers to your business, and there’s significant opportunities to increase the odds that your customers will refer your business.
How to quickly double your referrals in 3 simple steps
Step #1: Ask. Yes, really, just ask. Far too many business owners miss the boat on this easy, yet critical step. And when you do ask, don’t just ask: “Hey, do you have anyone in mind that you could refer my services to.” No – you’re way better than that!
Instead, frame your question like this: “I really enjoy doing business with you, and I’m sure you’re friends with other people who share your high values and taste. Who do you know that could benefit from my services?” Notice the difference? This subtle yet powerful difference has a dramatically different impact on a client because it already assumes that your client knows someone who’d benefit from your service. And, it forces your client’s brain to start scanning around for people they know. Your client almost can’t help BUT give you name.
Step #2: Get their contact info. As soon as your client shares a name, ask them to spell their name, then you repeat it back - twice. Spell then repeat twice. Spell then repeat twice. Easy. Then immediately ask for their phone number. Since most people have their mobile attached to them 24/7, chances are your client has instant access to the referred person’s contact info (if your client doesn’t have their phone number, ask if they can connect the two of you though email for Facebook).
Step #3: Contact the referral immediately and make a compelling offer. Don’t make the mistake that 98% of other business owners make and sit on the referral for weeks. Call them the same day. Follow-up immediately and make a compelling offer. The longer you wait the less powerful your referral becomes and the less likely you’ll ever reach out to them.
Stumped on what a compelling offer could be? It’s much easier than you think. Examples:
- If you sell homes, invite the prospect to a monthly lunch and learn where they can get free food and advice on market and interest rate trends
- If you’re a personal trainer, offer a free 20-minute health assessment. (A good friend of mine offers “Go Giver” bootcamps to prospective clients – check it out. This tactic works like gangbusters for their business.)
- If you’re a copywriter, offer to do a free assessment of the prospect’s website homepage
- If you’re a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, offer to do a free keyword search for your client and advise them on several improvements they could make
This is list could go on and on. The point is: ask for the referral, immediately get the referral’s contact name, and contact the referral that same day with a compelling offer. That’s all you need to do!
Wrapping it up
If you follow these 3 steps, you will dramatically increase the number of referrals that flood into your business. As opposed to taking many weeks and months to land new business through online and offline advertising, referrals can lead to new business in a day. And remember, referred business = more frequent, and more profitable business.
Contributed by Dennis Paresa
Dennis protects business owners from wasting their money on marketing that doesn’t work. He’s a marketing & innovation consultant who helps business owners increase sales, become more productive, and leave a legacy. Visit him on the web at www.dennisparesa.com.