We all know referrals are golden. They outshine even the best marketing at growing our businesses.
Do you consider yourself lucky when you get a referral? If referrals are so valuable, don’t you think you should have a marketing plan to generate them, instead of leaving it to chance?
Marketing and digital technology expert John Jantsch recently studied thousands of small business owners and found that nearly 80% of them did not have such a system. He’s written a book called The Referral Engine that I encourage you to read. In it, he identifies these five truths that you must understand before you can plan for referrals to drive your business growth.
1. “People make referrals because they need to.”
We need each other, and we know it. Some day I might need a good business development Consultant, and you will know one. A mindset that helps others and trusts that eventually you’ll receive help when you need it is a form of social capital that’s worth investing in.
2. “All business involves risk.”
A referral can be risky. If it goes bad for either party, it could damage a trusting relationship. A super-effective way to maintain trust is to connect to customers’ heads AND hearts. Convince them with logic, yes. But don’t ignore how their total experience with you makes them feel. Don’t know? Ask them, and record it in your CRM notes.
3. “Nobody talks about boring business.”
What are you doing, or can you do, that is literally remarkable – that makes your customers remark about you to their friends? Maximize something about your customer experience so that they can’t stop talking about you – in a good way.
4. “Consistency builds trust.”
Whatever is remarkable about you, keep doing it. Jantsch reminds us that publicity stunts don’t work. He says, “Referability is a long-term game, it’s not a drive-by event…” Be authentically unique, all the time, and your thrilled customers won’t be able to stop talking about you. Your CRM system, used well, will help you manage your team’s consistency in delivering customer service.
5. “Marketing is a system.”
Do you truly believe that you deserve referrals? Or do you think asking clients to refer you is like begging for business? If what you offer truly makes your customers’ lives better or adds to their business success, why would they not want to tell their friends? Use your CRM system to set up a process that from the beginning makes it easy for them to do so, and asking for referrals could become totally unnecessary.
What have you found successful in obtaining those 'golden' referrals?