How to Ask for a Referral to a Potential Client?
The growth of your business is highly dependent on the clients that you acquire over a period of time. Therefore, it is always important to provide excellent quality of services to the clients so that they can stay inside your business circle.
These clients that share a good relationship with your firm do not only provide you business but can also help in finding more and better clients. This will further help in promoting and scaling your business.
Clients that are referred are usually more likely to use your services and contribute more to your organization that the self-acquired clients. The referral customers usually have fewer acquisition costs and a better potential for retention.
Therefore having referrals for your organization is highly beneficial, and you must find the opportunities to get more clients via referrals. This article will help you with the ways to identify potential referral opportunities through customer feedback and other relatable methods.
Using Customer Feedback for Identifying Referral Opportunities
The foremost step is to identify the clients that are extremely happy with your services. They will be the ones to provide you with the best referrals as they have more faith in your services.
Identifying your Key Customers
It is essential to know which are the most satisfied customers of your business. When given the opportunity, these customers are the ones that provide the best referrals for your company. Finding the prime customers of your business can be challenging at times. Hence, an NPS report becomes a viable solution at such a time.
NPS is referred to as the Net Promoter Score report that is generated using customer feedback. It helps you to find the potential clients whose referrals will matter the most for the growth of your organization.
NPS involves a metric utilized feedback survey that helps in determining the happiness of the customer with your services. Usually, a single-paged questionnaire is built and sent to all the customers to get their valuable feedback. The feedback is then accessed on various levels, and the list of best customers is prepared that can help in providing referrals.
Follow Up with the Potential Customers
Having the feedback of the clients is significant. You not only understand how your services are performing in the market but also get the number of users who are willing to spend their time filling out the forms for you. It indicates that these customers are satisfied with your company and can be used to your advantage for promoting your business.
Once the analysis reports of customer feedback are out, you must not waste time and start the further process. The next step is to build a workable plan for your customers that will provide the customers ease to pitch in your company to their personal and professional network.
It is essential that the plan you formulate is simple and straightforward and not time-consuming at all. Remember, your customers do not have any compulsion to promote your organization. However, the excellent service you provide makes them help you out in this process.
Conduct meetings with your business development manager and make out an actionable plan that can be presented to your loyal customers. The marketing managers can personally reach out to the customers and ask them for their help in promoting your company.
Note, the simple and less time-consuming process you will create for the customer, the better response you will get from them. Referrals made by the customers themselves are proven to be more worthy in the long run.
Get Testimonials on Your Website using Customer Feedback
It is a fact that we all go for the product that has more social proofs of the product being genuine and good. Testimonials on your website is a great asset that can be used to entice more people to like your product. People often feel more confident in trying out a product that has been recommended by others.
You can use the feedback given by the customers in the NPS survey as the testimonials for your website. If not, then you can send out a small theoretical feedback survey to the best customers and ask them to fill it for you. Those comments by the customers can be used as testimonials using their permission.
The best way to get excellent testimonials is by asking the customer to get their feedback about the company and the services early on. When the customers are purchasing your products or services, from there, only you can start collecting their feedback.
The clients that are willing to promote your business and speak for your company’s services are the real gems that must always be kept. Also, it indicates that these are the most potential people whom you can ask for customer referrals.
Asking for Referrals
Below given are the ten best tips and techniques you must follow to get the best referrals from your potential customers.
- Create your Value Before Asking for Referral
One significant mistake that most companies do is they start pitching in for referrals soon after the customer buys your product or services. This is an inefficient method that should always be avoided.
It is important to give some time to the customer to use your services. The only thing that you can do at this time is to provide them with the best that you to offer. Although the referral pitching time depends upon the kind of service, you are providing.
Once your customer is well-versed with your services and products, then you can make the first engagement with them in the form of feedback forms. It is more likely for them to share your products with their colleagues and family members if they have trust in your services.
You should also share the releases of new products and their features with your customers via emails and phone messages. Also, any other relevant information about the products they use in forms of blogs and articles also builds brand loyalty and helps you to retain the customers.
- Never Expect Immediate Results
A large number of customer acquisition can be done using referrals. These referrals usually provide better business for your organization. Hence it is essential that you must have a high number of referral candidates. However, the process of referral is not an extremely active process and can take time to produce results.
Therefore, keeping large expectations from the referrals in a short time is foolish. You must do your part well and leave the rest as it is. If you are truly providing good services, you will surely get back the best results.
- Provide Incentives to Referrals
The modern-day business is nothing but a complex series of transactions. Similar to the barter system, you must provide the other party with some kind of incentive for your work to be done. Although it is not entirely true for every individual, still over eighty percent of the people operate this way.
Apart from providing top-notch services to your clients, additional incentives can be a great way to attain good referrals. Provide your best customers with Amazon gift cards or discounts on your services. You can also ask for their preferred charity organization and donate under their name.
Some organizations even give the customers an offer under which they will receive gifts for referring the highest number of customers. You can also start an offer that will provide gifts and prizes to the first ten people who will come up with new referrals. It will be fascinating for you to see the results of this process.
- Ask them for the Best Peoples they Know
Asking “Who do you like?” from your trustworthy customers can help you get great references for your company. It might sound a little weird to ask this question from a new customer. Hence it must be avoided there. You can pop out this question to a customer that has been a part of your organization for some time and has a liking for your services.
Ask them to refer the people who are trustworthy to them so that they can play a good role as a part of your organization. You will be surprised to know that as per a few studies, over fifty percent of the referrals do not turn out to be productive. These referrals are just like passing a viral message on social media and have very little significance.
Therefore if your customers can provide referrals of people in their close proximity that they trust, you will get better business through those referrals.
- Give Importance to Your Referrals
We all know the major focus of companies for referrals is only to promote the business. Hence, most people, when talking with a company representative, does not show any pleasant emotions. They only listen to them just as a mere formality and do not have invested emotions.
This is where you can fill the gap and get a better chance of promoting your products. Always remember to have a friendlier enthusiastic tone with your customers rather than having a boring and professional tone. It has a major impact on the way customers respond to your talk.
Relax them by treating them in a friendlier way and do not majorly focus on your companies product and services. Have a neutral conversation related to anything that your customer likes. It will make the customer feel relaxed, and hence they may refer to the best people they know.
- Build a Referral Mindset
Remember, a referral is a kind of transaction that you do with any of your known people, customers, etc. Therefore it is also important to keep a referral mindset, and when required, you must also refer people to other organizations.
Referring people to others can become beneficial for you as many would return the favor of referring their known to your organization.
- Focus More on Strong Relationships
The customers who are connected with your services more strongly than others hold the real possibilities of referring the best to your organization. Hence, the focus should always be more on the prestigious customers and clients of your organization.
You already have served them well, and that is why they have preferred sticking to your organization. You need to make sure they continue feeling the same way as before. For that, you can provide them with surprise gifts and discount coupons for services. When you feel the time is right, you should pitch in asking for referrals from them.
- Refer their Work in Your Network
If you do a favor for someone, then it becomes their duty to return the favor whenever possible. So, you can help your clients share their work, business ideas, products, and other campaigns in your known network or the organization proactively. Your customers will definitely appreciate this move and when needed, they will make sure to return the favor.
- Be Specific when asking for Referrals
One big reason why many organizations end up having bad deals with the customers is because of constant poking. You need the referrals, that is obvious. But it doesn’t mean you can get over the customer’s head for asking the referrals. The consistent nagging irritates them, and many times you end up losing the relationship with them.
Therefore when pitching for referrals, make sure to ask for referral only once from the customer. And when you ask for the referral, remember to be specific about telling the reason how this referral will be helpful for you. Do not try to create stories that may confuse them and lose interest in your talks.
- Stay Connected with Your Customers
The most important strategy for customer retention is maintaining a regular connection with them. Also, it is important to respect their decision and do not force them for your needs. Many times when a customer doesn’t respond positively to your referral request, companies stop paying attention to that specific customer. That should never happen.
The relationship between a customer and the company should always be smooth and trustworthy. When the time and situation is right, customers will themselves provide you with referrals.
Check out some of the authentic ways to stay in touch with your customers:
- Be connected with them through LinkedIn and follow their updates about job change and other blogs. Make comments on their posts whenever required.
- Add Google alerts for their numbers and appreciate them on their achievements.
- Follow them on Twitter and stay updated with their regular posts.
- You can also subscribe to their personal or company blogs and stay connected with them through emails.
How to Ask for Referrals from Different Types of Customers?
Different customers are at a different level of relationship with your company. Hence, when pitching in for referrals, make sure to ask suitable questions to customers that will help you get good referrals. Check out the given ways that will help you understand the right way to ask customers for referrals.
- Asking Referral from a Loyal Customer
When you are asking for a referral from a loyal customer, ensure the conversation must be targeted on the customer’s happiness. You must ask questions about how they are finding your services and what all improvements can be made. Remember, before pitching for a referral, you must be fully satisfied that the customer is happy with your services. If so, then only you may ask the customer for referrals.
- Asking Referral from a New Customer
Asking for referrals from a new customer is more difficult than your usual customers. Your usual customers have experience with your services, and if they feel it beneficial, they will surely help in providing good references. On the contrary, a new customer only has little experience with your product and services.
So it comes down to the individual level for asking the referrals. If you find a customer to have a positive approach about everything, you may pitch in for the referral. And if your customer was doubtful when purchasing your services, you may give it some time and work on providing a good user experience to the customer and then later.
- Asking Referral from a Vendor, or an Affiliate
A business is not just run by a single organization. There are multiple factors included in making a business successful. From the production to the market, many people are connected with your product. Be it your vendors or distributors, there are many people who work in making your product success in the market.
Hence if you have maintained a good relationship with those people, you may ask them to refer to some good customers. It will help you to increase your business and, in many ways, will affect the business of other small vendors that are connected with you.
- Asking Referral from a Competitor
When the industry that you are catering to is large, then there are many people connected to you in multiple ways. Your competitors are also there in the market following the same strategies that you follow. Not all companies are the best at everything. There might be some products that are designed by you and are popular in the market.
Whereas there will be some products in which your competitors are better. Hence, if you have a positive relationship with them, you can refer to some good clients to them, and they can do the same back for you. However, this does not apply to all industries and is limited to some specific industries, such as real estate.
Thanking Clients for a Referral
Thanking your customers for every little thing that they do for your business is an essential parameter of building a strong relationship with the customer. Your customer feels privileged and a sense of importance with little things that you do for them. You can send a personalized note or an email to show your appreciation towards them.
If they have referred people in ample amounts, you can surprise them by giving gifts to them. Small gestures usually go a very long way and turn out to be beneficial later in the future. A gift as small as a thank you note can make the person feel great within themselves. This helps them to stay loyal to your brand and even refer more clients without asking.