Referrals can and should be the primary marketing method for your business. Not only are referrals more qualified leads, but they are more likely to be great clients for you.
The trouble is that most businesses get referrals here and there and they aren’t really sure how they are getting them. If you want to take your referral marketing to the next level, you need to take a more active approach to getting referrals.
However, before you can put great referral systems in place you need to ensure that your business is one that people will want to refer—make it easy and simple for your clients.
There are three key elements to increasing referrals for your business.
- Define the three key elements of a referral-based business
- Be able to implement these elements into their business to get more referrals
- Identify the three steps to creating an easy referral system for your business
1. A Great Culture and Community
People refer great businesses and great businesses have a culture and community that attract more of their ideal clients.
Culture isn’t something you can magically create. It exists because of your core values and the people that are in your business.
If you haven’t spent time focusing on finding and extracting the core values that exist in your business, then that’s the first step. Notice that you aren’t creating core values, you’re extracting the ones that already exist in your business.
Knowing your core values will help you identify the type of people that you want in your business—those that connect with your core values both as clients and as staff.
These people and core values will create your culture.
With that culture will come a great community that will attract and bring in people that are a good fit.
This simple step will enhance the referrals you get, and it will help your clients know exactly who to refer to your business.
2. Referring Your Business Is Easy and Straightforward
Great referral-based businesses make it easy for clients to refer them to friends and family. It’s easy to assume that your clients know that you want more clients, who is a good fit and how to refer them to you.
Don’t assume anything! Being passive with your referral programs will never produce the results that you want.
The first step is making sure you set the expectations for referrals early in the relationship with a client. You don’t have to ask right away, but you should make it known that you are a referral-based business.
You can do this by letting them know right when they sign up that you prefer to bring in new clients from referrals to help ensure you get the right type of clients for your business. If they enjoy the results they are getting and what the gym does for them, mention that you would like them to refer you to their friends.
It’s also important that you let your clients know the type of people you’re looking to get more of for your business. If you can clearly explain your ideal client to them, or let them know that you want more people just like them, then that would make the process a little more straightforward.
A positioning statement that clearly explains who you help and how you help your new clients can be a big benefit to you because you can share that with your clients to help them remember.
Finally, make sure that your clients know how to refer clients to you:
- Are there collateral marketing materials they should give to a referral?
- Should they have the people they refer call you?
- Should they send the people they refer to your website?
- Should they gather the contact information of the referrals for you?
A multifaceted approach usually works best and allows you to make the most of every referral.
You can have referral marketing pieces that you send out and also a simple process for following up with referrals when you get their information.
3. Be Great at What You Do
If you expect clients to refer you, you need to be great at what you do. Being great is hard work, but that’s what it takes if you want to stand out enough that your clients refer their friends and family to you.
Deliver on the results you promised, go above and beyond in everything you do, have great energy, show up early, stay a little later, develop relationships, and do the simple stuff better than anyone else.
That’s all it takes, doing the simple things amazingly well.
Putting these three key elements in place will turn your business into a referral-based business and give you the power to grow faster than ever before. It’s not easy to do these things, but it is very simple and with the right focus and intentions you’ll see an increase in referrals. Use these elements to make the referral systems you already have in place much more effective.