Referral marketing is one of the most effective ways to get qualified new business leads. Yet, how many of us actually do it?Excellence breeds referrals

Perhaps you worry that people won’t want to refer you, or fear sounding too ‘salesy’ and jeopardising valued relationships? Or maybe you’re just stumped for where to start?

If you are confident that you provide a valuable product or service, happy customers will most likely already have thought about who they’ll recommend you to. All you need to do now is formalise the process and ask them the question.

Here are our tips for a really effective referral marketing strategy:

Make it simple
The process of referring has to be simple for your clients. If they are suggesting your product to others, they may feel that their contact will feel pressurised or wonder what they are supposed to do next. Giving your client something physical like a voucher or an introductory email to forward on ensures that the process is smooth and easy.

Offer a reward
There are plenty of rewards you can offer for a successful referral. It could be something material which you know your current clients will be motivated by; it could be monetary, or it could be the promise to refer them in future. Make sure you are clear about what warrants a reward; actual new business signed by you as a result of their referral should keep the boundaries clear.

Ask for referrals regularly
If the process works as it should, you should find a new stream of clients to ask for referrals within a few weeks or months after sending out a message. Review how often it’s appropriate to ask for referrals, and also make sure you’re asking at the right time in your relationship. 

Provide an excellent service
Above all, your aim must be to provide an excellent service or product that people will refer you without prompting. You may find you are getting referrals this way already, and that is great news – just imagine the success you could have if you asked all of your clients directly!