How To Get Referrals From Clients
How To Get Referrals From Clients

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How To Get Referrals From Clients

The thing to understand how to get referrals from clients is that you need to start by making sure your clients have a great customer experience.

If you have nailed that starting point, let’s talk about how to leverage your good work into referrals of more prospects.

There are more than 2 million brand-related conversations taking place every day in the United States.
This demonstrates the fact that people are perfectly happy to talk about their experience with your business.
So the obvious question we want to ask is – what can we do to influence these conversations in our favor?
There is research indicating that 39% of consumers build trust in a brand from peer-to-peer conversations and they believe that consumers are 14% more credible than the brand employees.
So, your best salespeople may not be your employees. Your best salespeople may in fact be your customers.

What is a business referral?

A business referral is what happens when somebody in your network recommends your business to somebody they know.
This could happen spontaneously during an organic conversation or it could be the result of a deliberate marketing strategy.

How referral marketing works

If you offer a great customer experience, referrals by word of mouth will happen organically.
However, you can achieve much better results by implementing an organized and well-thought-out strategy.
This is why it can be so effective:
  • You will be accessing a pool of prospects that you otherwise would not be able to access.
  • Prospects generated by referrals tend to be very warm leads because they know and trust the referrer

Why you should do referral marketing

  • When referred by a friend, people are 4x more likely to make a purchase.
  • Referred customers’ LTV (lifetime value) is 16% higher when compared to non-referred customers.
  • Customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate and 81% of consumers are more likely to engage with brands that have reward programs.
  • Referred customers have an 18% lower churn than customers acquired by other means.
  • You can expect at least 16% more in profits from referred customers.
  • 83% of customers are willing to refer after a positive shopping experience – make it easy for them!
  • Customers are 4x more likely to share when the sharing CTA is integrated into their journey, not on a hidden landing page somewhere on your website.
  • When a CTA appears on your post-purchase page, customers are 16x more likely to share.
  • About 47% of top performers ask for referrals consistently, versus only 26% of non-top performers.
  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
  • Friends’ social media posts influence the purchase decisions of 83% of US online shoppers.
  • Consumers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy.
  • When referred by other customers, people have a 37% higher retention rate.
  • B2B companies with referrals experience a70% higher conversion rate.
  • Referred customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is 16% higher than that of non-referred customers.
  • Referral leads have a30% higher conversion rate than leads from any other channel.
  • Referrals account for 65% of companies’ new deals.

How to get referrals from clients – without asking for them

  1. Provide a great customer experience
I think it goes without saying that your customers will only refer your business to their friends and colleagues if they’ve had a positive experience with your business.
What does a great customer experience involved? At the very minimum, your product or service needs to exceed their expectations but you can go further.
You can follow them on social media and share their content and refer to them in your own content.
You can also try surveys. When a client’s order has been completed send them an email that simply asks them whether they are a ‘satisfied’ or ‘unsatisfied’ customer.
If they click ‘satisfied’, direct them to a page where you ask them for a review and also ask for referrals.
If they click ‘unsatisfied’, direct them to a page where you can attempt to resolve any issues.
  1. Create a customer loyalty program
It’s highly likely that your most loyal customers will be the people that refer your business the most. You can reward them by creating a customer loyalty program.
You could create a point-based program or offer a premium membership. There’s no right and wrong way to do this – just make sure that you are loyal customers feel valued.

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How to get referrals fast

  1. Keep your customers engaged
Your customers will obviously be engaged while they’re consuming your product or service but you can do more by nurturing the relationship post-sale in order to build a stronger relationship:
  • Find ways to continue providing value on an ongoing basis. This doesn’t have to be limited to offering paid products and services. You can provide free helpful tips and advice.
  • Cultivate a sense of community with your customers that revolve around shared interests and values. This can be achieved with a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group.
  1. Provide an email template
It’s important to remember that your customers are busy and cannot be expected to spend a lot of time and effort referring customers to you.
There are multiple things you can do to make it easy for them to refer customers to you.
One example is to give them a template that they can use in an email. For example:
“I’m not sure if this will be of interest to you, but I’ve been working with [your name] for several months. [These are the results that I achieved]. It just occurred to me that I should introduce you to each other. I’ll leave it to both of you to decide if you want to chat. Regards., [your name]”
If you get any negative feedback from the person receiving this email, don’t push it, just move on to the next prospect.

How to get free referrals

  1. Make experiences shareable
If you want customers to refer people to you, give them a reason to insert your business into their conversations.
Think about what you can do that will elevate your products and services to top of mind.
Ideally, do you want your customers to say things like – “everybody struggles with X, but [your business] solved the problem for me.”
Stories about resolving frustration and common problems can be very powerful.
Get permission from a handful of customers to turn their experience into a case study that you can outline in a blog.
When a customer becomes a brand advocate for your business and they refer somebody to your website, one of the most powerful mechanisms of persuasion will be case studies that have a similar profile to the prospective customer.
  1. Leverage LinkedIn
You could try your luck at asking for referrals from everybody in the same way but you will achieve better results by doing a little homework and executing a more organized strategy.
Use LinkedIn to learn more about the people you’re considering contacting in order to spend more time and effort building relationships with people that are more likely to refer customers to you.

How to increase the number of referrals

7. You could build a customer referral program – also known as an affiliate program.
8. The referral program creates a more formal arrangement when compared to simply asking for a referral – which is more of a handshake arrangement. This gives the referrer more confidence and, of course, they will be more incentivized to put some time in effort into referring prospects to you. You can use a platform like Partnerstack to create an affiliate program.
9. Incentives for referrals. You don’t have to create a formal referral program to offer incentives. In some cases, your customer’s audience might be your target market so it makes sense to provide an incentive for them to tap into that audience and send you more prospective customers.

Referral Agreements

What is a referral agreement?
A referral agreement is a contract that outlines the terms of the arrangement between your business and the referrer.
In many cases, this arrangement will be informal however, if the referrer will be required to spend a significant amount of time or resources on referring prospects to your business and receiving payment of some kind then both parties will benefit from having a contract that clarifies the terms of the arrangement.

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  • Adam Radly

    Founder of IIMAGINE. More than $100M raised. TEDx Talk about passion > 1 Million views. Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela. Founder of One Direct Democracy.