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Stefan Kazakis on 1 February 2020

February is our referral month so we thought, why not kickstart our blog series for the next month with 5 things you can do to increase referrals.

In Business, the most sure-fire way of turning a lead into a customer is through referrals.

Have you ever purchased something just because your friend told you that you should? I know I have! So, making sure you do everything possible to encourage your clients to recommend you to others is vital to the growth of your business.

Follow these five things you can do right now to increase your referrals.

1. Ask for one

This seems blatantly obvious, doesn’t it? However, a failure to do so is one of the biggest hindrances to building a successful referral program and therefore hindering growth in your business.

There are some businesses who live solely off word of mouth marketing - no fancy systems or paid advertising - just word of mouth.

This may be because they ask for referrals, it may be because they set things in place to influence referrals, or it may simply just mean their services are just that great, they don’t need traditional marketing methods.

By asking for referrals you are doing yourself justice to the effort you put in daily in whatever industry you may be in.

Talk to your clients, see what it is they love about you, see what they say to their friends about you and ask them who else they could refer to you.

I know it seems scary – but its simply just a conversation – and a conversation we should all be having.


2. Ask Customers for feedback

Remember the last time you had a really amazing service, whether that be at a restaurant, whether it be a car service, a massage, a facial, a business coaching session - Did you then go home and rave to your family and friends? Most likely.

The key to your referral system is providing a service worth talking about!  And asking for feedback ensures you deliver a service that deserves a referral.

This may not get you a referral instantly, however in the long run, asking customers for feedback will definitely have an impact on how many referrals you receive.

By discussing your services with your current customers, you can grasp a concept of what it is they love about your business, and areas they believe you need improvement on.

By understanding this, you will know what it takes to get a glowing referral from your customers.  

Asking their opinions shows them you care. It shows them you want to give the best possible service and it allows you to tailor your services to suit their needs.

You need to consistently provide the results for which people have backed you. Give them a service that leaves them feeling over the moon and you will earn a referral. Your customers will do your marketing for you.

Don’t overlook asking for feedback. It shows the customer you care, it shows them you want to give the best possible service and it allows for you to tailor your services to suit your customers needs. You need to consistently provide the results for which people have backed you.

 
3. Ignore your head trash

Head Trash… We have all experienced it, we have all set out to do something and then questioned whether we really can, whether we are worth it, whether we will get rejected.

When it comes to referrals, we may think business is ok, why rock the boat?

Head trash is a natural thing, however, how you react to it, how you respond to it and how you deal with it, will be the defining factor of the outcome.

How you rise above it has a direct impact on your business.

Read those words again, and again. How you rise above it has a direct impact on your business. You do everything you can to make your business thrive.

Let’s break it down. What is head trash? Head trash are the negative thoughts, feelings or emotions you have and the assumptions you make. It is simply that, it is not fact, it is opinion and belief.

Therefore once you train your brain, and train yourself, how to overcome it, you can move mountains. I want you to ask yourself one simple question when your head trash comes in to play, and that is “So what?”.

So what if you get rejected – you will learn something in the process.  

Ask and ye shall receive. There are only two possible outcomes – you will get a referral and get a great new client, or you won’t and you will be in the exact same position you were before you asked.  

So why not take a risk, and ask for a referral. It might be tough at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes, and the better you will become at asking.

 If you have provided a quality service, something that is fuelled with passion and hard work, then you deserve the referral. Rise above your head trash, and it will have a direct positive impact on your business!


 4. Encourage social media sharing

In our modern world today, social media can be one of the most powerful tools you use in your business.

By encouraging sharing and getting your message out there, you can increase awareness of your business.  People have to know about you before they can buy from you, and by sharing your posts, your customers are recommending your business to their friends.

The great thing with social media is, you don’t have to ask people to join, they are just there, so if you put the message out there (with the right target audience) then it will be received. Even just monitoring your feed, replying to your comments, engaging with your clientele – these are all aspects of listening to the audience and growing your business.



5. Position your referrals

Before positioning your referrals, you MUST define who your ideal target market is, or more specifically who your ideal client is.

This is a shortfall of so many businesses, they focus too much on the product they provide that they forget who the product is for.

You need clarification, so when you market your services, you’re making your marketing count.

Just as much as you want to provide a quality service, you must provide a quality service to quality clients - those who pay on time, are great to work with, appreciate what you do and keep coming back.

The more specific you are when you ask for a referral, the better quality your referral will be.

Let’s go through a scenario:

I want you to think of the last time you asked your friend for a referral for a good restaurant, you probably wouldn’t just say where is somewhere good to eat? Because then your friend could go on to say a fast food restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a really expensive restaurant, a restaurant that isn’t in the location you desire - you get the point.

When in fact, you wanted a Thai restaurant, 10 minutes from your home, that was reasonably priced and caters for vegetarians, so, that’s what you should have asked for. The difference in what your request is can make the quality of your answer miles apart. I’ll repeat again,  IF you are specific when you ask for a referral, the better quality your referral will be.

Referrals are such a powerful tool in business, they are one of the most sure-fire ways to turn a lead into a customer, so focus on your referrals, and make sure you keep up to date with our referral blogs and podcasts for the month of February, because we will be going through specific ways to assure referrals are happening in your business and assure these referrals are quality referrals.

 Stefan Kazakis 

CEO, Business Benchmark Group





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