Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to Get More Referrals? Reward Them

You know that a steady stream of referrals is the lifeblood of your business, right?


And you know that, as you get more clients by referral, your business becomes self-sustaining.

Research supports this. According to Getting Business to Come to You, by Paul and Sarah Edwards, up to 45% of consultants and service businesses are chosen by clients based on the recommendations of others.

Today, with Yelp, Angie's List, and other review sites,  the importance of referrals will only increase.

Here's the shortcut to getting more referrals: If you want to get referrals systematically, you have to go after them systematically.

And the easiest way I've found to do this is to flat out buy them. Pay cash rewards for referrals. Because this puts you in total control.

But paying a cash reward is only part of the ideal solution ...

Over the years, I've found that giving clients a choice of referral-reward options gets better results than offering a single type of reward. Reason? When you give people a choice, you involve them. You force them to think about what they get when they refer others, rather than if they will refer others. Big difference.

Here's an example. I like to offer clients a choice of three rewards for referring a new client to me: a cash bounty for them, a gift card for them, or a discount for their friend.

I call this combination my "Referral Triangle" System. And I've never seen it fail.

(Hey-- do you own or manage the marketing for a service business? Do you want more clients, who buy more, and refer others? If so, let's talk this week. Learn more here.)

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