Yes you can. And a great place to start is by listing 5 reasons your ideal customer should do business with you. Now, list 5 reasons that you believe without a doubt, you have a valuable product or service to offer your ideal customer.
And last … list 5 ways you believe that you can change your ideal customer’s life for the better with your product or service.
Now … Have you ever secured referrals in the past?
Then it’s time for you to do just that.
You could set up a regular offering that your paying customers can be informed of, like say,
You receive $100 cash for every paying customer you refer to my business. That’s how I repay your loyalty!
Your “pay for referral” doesn’t necessarily have to be cash either. You can offer anything of value, be it a gift certificate, sports tickets … or even services. There is no limit with respect to value either. In other words a box of chocolates is as much a referral fee as is a 60″ widescreen TV.
Make sure your offerings are stated clearly and that you cover as many aspects as you can so there is no chance for abuse. Publish it on a web page so you can easily share the URL with your customers in an email. Be sure to let your customers know they have your permission to forward your email to all of their friends, if they would like to. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many people will gladly take you up on this type of offer (to earn or save money) strictly for referring your business.
Or, you could start up a “secret” (not public) Facebook group where members could be owners of a variety of different local businesses where you could all network with each other, sharing business ideas.
Then, once a month or so each member could write a referral post on their Facebook personal and/or business page.
NOTE: You will need to make sure that all businesses owners who join your group are in fact responsible owners in order to ensure that the person to whom their customer or prospective customer is being referred to is appropriately qualified to provide the products and/or services you will be sharing referrals to.
Here’s an example of such a referral post:
I have a network of successful business owners that I trust, and I have asked them to share their businesses with you, including a link to their website or Facebook fan page. I do business with them myself and I know you will be please when you too choose to do business with them.
I would appreciate if you would take a few minutes to read the information below, and if you have a need for one of their products or services, please feel free to contact them directly. Please, do mention my name and let that person know that I recommended their business.[website or Facebook fan page link goes here]
Thank YOU for supporting local businesses!
Be sure to ask your followers to share your referral posts. This type of networking referrals could also be done in LinkedIn … and don’t forget about Twitter.
Your current (and past) customers would be one of your best sources for referrals. Be sure to send them the link to your “pay for referrals” web page if you should decide to try this method. I have found this works the best for my business.
How to get business referrals
Another handy tip you might want to adopt … I have purchased a stamp that simply states:
[have your shortened URL placed here]
This I use to stamp all business cards now being handed out whenever I can. The link I use on my stamp is a bit.ly URL, and when typed into a browser takes a visitor directly to my “referral for pay” web page.
Not only is my URL shortened to fit better on my business card by using bit.ly, but I can also easily track and see how many people have actually typed in the (easy to see) URL.
In the future, I could have my business cards ordered with this printed on the back. For now, too many business cards were previously printed and I do not want to waste them.
Feel free to use my idea!
NOTE: Bit.ly allows users to easily shorten, share, manage and analyze your favourite links. This can even be used to analyze how often your posts are viewed that are shared in your social media accounts.
Planning Your Referral Program
- What type of an incentive will you offer? Incentives need to be attractive enough yet affordable so they will easily fit your budget. This can be cash, discounts, free products and/or services, gift cards or anything else your customers would value.
- What YOU mean as a referral that you pay for. In other words, do you intend on paying for only paying customers referred to your business or will you pay for any and all leads.
- How will you keep track of your referrals? Will you make sure your loyal customers are being paid for those they refer to you? Does this mean you will be asking all your new customers how they come to contacting you or will you ask those referring others to let you know WHO they have referred to you?
Here are 2 great ways to get more referrals
Ambassador “Determine the ambassadors you want to enroll and segment, including customers, affiliates, influencers, partners, employees, and other advocates. Incentivize referrals by offering and testing different incentives for different campaign segments, and automating the reward process using cash, points, credits, or gift cards.”
Referral Key “Receive referrals from other pros, get endorsed and boost your reputation, build valuable partnerships via live networking. Over 4 million referral focused members.”
While you are technically buying leads for your business, it is important to remember that the additional sales should more than make up for your expenses. Referred customers tend to be more profitable for businesses, and as such you will be more apt to build a solid, longer lasting customer base.
If you have found this post to be valuable to you, please do share it … and, I would love to hear your comments regarding referrals, below.
Credit for Header: image by © Le Cong Duc Dao | Dreamstime.com