How to Get Customer Referrals | Inc.com

Happy new year and I apologize for the delay on this installment to our 5R’s of marketing series!

Number 3 on my list of 5 is referral marketing

  1. Retention: Existing Customers Revenue
  2. Reactivation: Existing Customers Revenue
  3. Referrals: New Customers Revenue
  4. Reputation: New Customers Revenue
  5. Ranking: New Customers Revenue

There are many schools of thought regarding asking for referrals, who ask for referrals and how to ask for referrals. But honestly, most of the information that I found is out of date considering the shift in the marketplace away from brands having the most influence in the marketplace to consumers having the most influence in the marketplace. this article from our friends over at Inc. magazine, really covers it all for me, and I hope you find value in it as well!

How to Get Customer Referrals

BY INC. STAFF

Word of mouth is a powerful tool for building your business — and the right words are key to obtaining it. Customer referrals are one of the most powerful selling and marketing tools available. In fact, the best source of new business is a referral from a satisfied customer. According to Forrester Research, 71 percent of online shoppers read reviews before buying. Other studies also show that customers also say that referrals are of the utmost importance in determining who they buy from and what they buy.

Given the business potential from garnering customer referrals, its important to know how to get good word of mouth from your regulars. Being able to build a high percentage of business from customers, and even prospects, through referrals is an enviable characteristic of exceptional sales professionals. There is an art to asking for referrals – and getting them.

The sections below will outline how to satisfy a customer so they will make referrals, when to ask for customer referrals, and the right way to ask for them.

How to Get Customer Referrals: Satisfy Customers So They Make Referrals

The first rule of generating customer referrals is quite basic: make your customer happy. “The very first thing you have to do is provide a great product or service,” says Whitney Wood, managing partner of the Phelon Group, a consultancy based in Palo Alto, California, which focuses on helping companies develop better relations with customers. “You shouldnt be trying to get customers who arent happy with you to give you referrals. First give them something they love.”

Encouraging referrals begins with your very first contact and continues throughout the entire selling and serving process, says Jeff Thull, president and CEO of Prime Resource Group, a strategy and consulting group that advises companies large and small. Thull recommends that you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your customers enjoying the interaction?
  • Do they feel they are being listened to, that you understand their problem?
  • Do they believe they are receiving competent guidance?
  • Are they comfortable that your product or service will meet their requirements?

“All of these questions are within your control and should be guiding your conversation,” Thull says.

Keep in mind the importance of word of mouth as you focus on making the buying process effective and enjoyable – before, during, and even after the sale.

“Make sure you understand expectations in great detail and follow up after the sale to ensure that your customers are seeing the results they should expect,” Thull says. “If the customer is pleased with how they have been treated and served, and with the value theyve received, they certainly will be more willing to attach their name to you and your solution. They will be proud to be seen as the source of a great idea.”

via How to Get Customer Referrals | Inc.com.