Monday, November 21, 2011

Referral Marketing Strategies You Need To Know

Contrarily to what most people believe, it is possible to grow a business with minimal advertising. How can this be done? Well, simply by having a powerful referral system. It is a very good system especially when a business is young and new. Here are some tips...

Create a system that gives complimentary services in exchange of referral.

That means everyone who refers a client needs to be paid either by way of discounted or upgrades. The key to decide what incentive to give depends on the life time value of a new customer to be acquired. If someone refers another to a hotel that charges $3000 per night, he can't get the same reward has one who refers another to a hotel that charges $300. In addition some referrals will give repeat business. Take motors repairs. Several times a year a car needs servicing, oil change wheel balancing and other minor repairs. Clearly as long as this person has this car, this is repeat business for years to come. So look at the business that you will get and give an incentive commensurate to this business.

Always thank referral sources.

A simple phone call or a thank you note to the person who referred business to you can lead to even more business from the same person. That means it is important to find out the sources of every business that comes your way. You need to measure every aspect of your business. It is perhaps the only way you can know how much business is coming from referrals. And who among your current clients is referring the most.

Educate your current clients.

It is very crucial that you current clients know all the services you offer. Too often providers assume that their clients know all they do. However, you need to make effort to share all the knowledge while at the same time asking for referrals.

Refer people to other business.

Get to know what your clients do and whenever you get an opportunity, refer other clients to them. It will certainly be appreciated and will cement the relationship.

Provide value continuously and consistently.

This is quite obvious however; it is difficult to get referrals if you provide mediocre services. That means you should never cut corners, compromise on quality. It is better to make a loss on one transaction instead of making a profit at the expense of quality. It is a difficult position to enforce but is probably the only thing that make you stand out.

Have clearly defined services; under promise over deliver.

You need to have clear standards that your customers are aware of. Let them know the time frames, quality expected, service levels for answering correspondence. For instance, if you promise to answers emails within 24 hours, go ahead do it within 12 hours or less. This is going beyond your state standards. In addition, perhaps you promised a report within 7 days and you went ahead and delivered within 5 days- that is going beyond keeping your word. Similarly you can over deliver by giving 10% 30% extra services at the same cost, and make sure you bring this to the attention of your customers. They need to know that though they requested and paid for text messages consultancy, you have given them an extra report of using short codes that would normally be charged at $500 as an incentive for them to do business with you.

Join associations and strategies alliances.

Getting into some formal affiliations with people who provide complementary services can get you off the ground far quicker than you would expect. You get to be introduced to a client base that already has trust on the services provider. And chances are you will get the same trust. Web designers may already have a client base and as an SMS expert you can bet those clients your need help.

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