Referral Marketing Strategy

A referral marketing strategy is simply a planned and structured approach to generating referrals. You may find that you have attended numerous networking events and not gained any business, and the reason why may be a lack of a thought out strategy to achieving what you want.

Here is a step by step approach you can take which will increase your chances of receiving a steady flow of business through word of mouth.

  1. Know exactly what your offering is and be able to communicate this clearly, concisely and confidently.

    If you cannot describe the following to a potential customer how will someone else be able to describe this on your behalf?

    • your target market – e.g. consumer or business, size, sector etc
    • the benefits of your product or service to this market and the problems you solve
    • why people should buy from you in particular

  2. Create your own network of ideal referrers

    Your referral marketing strategy should identify those people who will be good referrers for your business – these are people who are willing to and have the capacity to understand your business, what you are offering and will therefore recommend your products or services. Some people are more likely to fit into this category than others – e.g. those with a related business, those who have similar customers, people who do already or are likely to use your services, those working in the same sector or people you can easily refer business to.

    Seek out those people who also are respected and who have established relationships with your target market The strength of a referral is dependent on the extent to which your target customer trusts the recommendation of your referrer.

    Attend appropriate networking events which will allow you to make contact with your idea referrers

  3. Build first class relationships with your potential referrers

    It is better to put your time and effort into building strong relationships with a few selected people who really will be able to help you, than make half hearted attempts at getting to know lots of people. See building quality relationships .

  4. Make the most of any referrals you have been given

    A referral is precious so treat it as such and do your homework before you contact them. Find out from your referrer some more information about this potential customer: what is the relationship between them and the person they are referring; when are they expecting you to contact them; how do they think they can benefit from your services; how should you best approach them?

    If they have a website or marketing literature take a look to find out more about what they do and how your product or service relates to their potential needs.

  5. Take action

    Follow up as soon as possible. When you make contact explain who has referred you and why. If business is done ensure that you deliver on your promises.

  6. Make your new customer part of your referral marketing strategy

    Get feedback from your new customer on your service. If they are satisfied explain that you receive most of your business through positive recommendation and ask who they know who would also benefit from your product or service and ask directly for a recommendation to them.

  7. Follow up with your referrer

    Update your referrer on the progress of your referral, ensuring you thank them. If business has been done consider saying thank you by way of a gift commensurate with the business achieved. Find out who else they know who may benefit from your services. If business has not been done or the referral was not appropriate still say thank you but also use it as learning for both of you for the future.

    Keep the relationship going with your referrer, keeping regular contact, and reciprocate with referrals.

Recommended Reading:

Get More Referrals Now! The Four Cornerstones That Turn Business Relationships Into Gold (Facts on File Science Library) by Bill Cates (Paperback - 4 Jul 2004)

The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick by Andy Bounds (Paperback - 4 April 2007)

Rapid Result Referrals: Practical Tips and Ideas to Increase Your Sales (Knowledge Nugget Guides) by Roy Sheppard (Paperback - 11 Jun 2001)

See Also:-

Referral Marketing
How To Generate Referrals
My Single Best Referral Winning Tip
When To Ask For A Referral
How To Give Quality Referrals
Getting To Know, Like And Trust People
Developing Referrer Relationships

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