Ask (for Referrals) and You Shall Receive
Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Anyone reading this blog knows how beneficial referrals are to our businesses. However, just in case you weren’t sure how important they are, here are a few statistics to prove it.
Customers are 4x more likely to buy when they have a recommendation from a friend (Nielsen)
You can expect 16% more profits from customers who have been referred to a business. (HBR)
64% of marketing executives said that word-of-mouth recommendations were the most effective form of marketing. (Forbes)
78% of B2B marketers say referrals generate leads of good or excellent quality. (SocialMedia Today)
60% of marketers say it generates a high volume of leads. (SocialMedia Today)
With statistics like these, we can all agree that referrals are likely one of our most important lead sources, and as such, we should dedicate both time and energy in developing a process to make asking for referrals a quick and easy step in our sales process. Unlike other forms of marketing, referrals require almost no financial investment and produce a high volume of quality leads. That sounds like a good ROI to me!
If you do not already have a best practice in place, or if you are looking for new ways to ask for referrals, consider some of these suggestions:
Review your customer service training program and policies to make sure your team is delivering a great experience to your clients/customers. Most clients/customers don’t need to be asked to provide a referral when they had a great experience with your brand. They just automatically do it.
Ask for a referral immediately after the sale has occurred or a contract has ended. Most clients/customers have a higher likelihood of providing referrals when they recently had a phenomenal experience with you. Take advantage of recency bias and strike while the iron is hot!
Create a referral program. Provide a small gift of appreciation, gift card, or a discount on a future purchase/contract for anyone who provides a referral.
Make it easy for the customer/client to share a referral by providing them with a template they can use to send to their network via text or email. If you make it easy for the client to spread a good word on your behalf, more of your clients will be willing to do it.
Always, always say thank you for a referral! Whether or not the referral turns into a sale, it is IMPERATIVE that you thank the individual who referred you. People always like to feel appreciated for something they did. Simply by saying “thank you for the referral,” whether it be in person, via email, text, or a phone call, that individual will more than likely refer you again.
Make asking for a referral a step in your sales process. Just as you would never not thank a client for their business, don’t ever NOT ask for a referral. Make asking for a referral a part of how you close out the sale/contract. Request it in your thank you note or send a separate email. Either way works, you just need to do it. You’ll never know who will provide your next referral until you ask.
Ask twice! After sending out your initial referral request, don’t hesitate to follow up with them. It only takes a minute or two to send out a quick email such as, “I hope this email finds you well. We had such a great time working together that I would love to work with more individuals like yourself. Have you thought of anyone who might benefit from working with me?”
If you prioritize getting referrals, and give your team the tools they need to be comfortable asking for them, referrals could be your biggest and most successful lead source. Let’s start asking!