Contrary to the adage customer is king, where business owners like us twists ourselves into a pretzel to cater to the client’s whim, there are rare but real instances when we can actually make customers work to our advantage.
In today’s blog I will talk about customer referrals. Believe it or not there’s a right and wrong way to handle referrals.
Before you ask, give. Make the first move by giving your customer a referral first and foremost. Introduce them to your own contacts by giving them a glowing review. Providing a recommendation of your customer to your most active clients. This lays the ground for good karma between you and the client you are angling a recommendation from. Being the first to give that referral will improve the likelihood that your client will initiate the sharing of their own customer base. Instant win-win situation!
Timing is everything. When you ask is as important as asking itself. A common error of timing is asking a new client for referrals immediately after you close the transaction. Now is not the time to do this. The client has just spent their money on you. The next key step is to earn their trust by delivering a good product/service in exchange for their deal. Do a really excellent job with delivery first. After you’ve successfully finished is when you ask for that golden referral. The confidence that you gain of having satisfied the need is your ticket to a sure fire sales referral.
Let the client speak. Now that you’ve gotten your customer to agree, try to go the extra mile by getting them to reach the prospect themselves. See if you can get your customer to call the referred party and do a quick introduction by phone. A face to face meeting would of course be better for instant rapport and higher trust.
The next best thing are customer reviews. Have satisfied clients do a rave review of your company on your Yelp or Google Local listings. This is a more indirect way of getting referrals but equally valuable since it is customary for prospects to investigate you thru a Google search.
I hope these simple strategies get you at least one sales referral before 2012 ends. This holiday season is a good time to gather referrals, when customers are in a light mood. Good luck =)
We at Bliss Drive can help you create a strategy for consistently getting sales leads, whether from your clients or from alternative channels. Call us today at 949-229-3454 to get a free lead generation consultation!