In any business, we must place the utmost importance on the 3 R’s: Referrals, Recommendations & Reviews. It’s about building relationships personally, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be systematized. Having a referral strategy is something that many sub-stage one, two, or three business owners have never considered before.
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Referrals are amazing because they are organic and testament to the trust and loyalty of those using your services. Think about it, how many times have you watched a movie or TV show, tried a restaurant, or even purchased a product because of the recommendation of a friend, or because of reviews you’ve read? In this day and age, we as consumers like to spend our money and our time wisely, and the internet’s multiple platforms have made it possible for us to rely on our peers and fellow consumers to make spending decisions. So why would you NOT employ the same strategies for your business?
Start with your network and sphere of influence, friends, family colleagues. Get them to write reviews on your Social media pages, share your content and tell their own networks how awesome they think you are. Next, build relationships with your client base and ask them to leave you stellar reviews as well. We had a conversation with Adapting Socials about creating your Brand Gladiators who will consistently share and rave about your business. You can catch that webinar here.
Ask for referrals!
According to studies by Neilsen, 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. In addition, referred customers are about 18% more likely to stay rather than other customers.– Wharton Marketing is an essential part of your business. Creating ads, being visible on social media and other platforms is extremely important. The 3 R’s should most definitely be a part of your marketing strategies!
Offering incentives and other perks for referrals can also be a great way to encourage them and thank people for sending new opportunities your way. For example, did you know that if a referral sent to us signs up for our services and employs one of our Virtual Assistants for at least 1 month, we give out a $400 referral incentive? We’ve also held raffles where someone could win gift cards for Amazon and Southwest Airlines, on top of their referral incentive!
It would help if you also utilized the people within your organization. For example, MyOutDesk has a Personally Developed Lead (PDL) program where our Virtual Assistants and Support members have a chance to reach out to their clients and other people in their networks and ask if they know anyone who they think might benefit from our services. If they are amenable to having a conversation with us and employ one of our Virtual Assistants for at least a month, they get a PDL bonus. Imagine if you could have everyone from your front desk guy inside your organization to the account to your operations team engaged in getting new customers and keeping customers.
There are multiple ways to encourage referrals; all you have to do is be creative and figure out what works for you and your business.
Last month alone, we received 62 referrals from our sphere of influence. These are people who raised their hands and asked to have conversations with us because their trusted referrer recognized that they need help filling gaps in their business and felt that we could offer them the best solutions.
Implementing the 3 R’s in your business is a key strategy that you should not overlook.
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail.”- Mark Zuckerberg.