Article by Effie Cinanni
How to get more customer referrals & more business
Many small businesses are built on customer referrals, so it’s important to understand how to build and nurture those relationships. Here are some quick and easy ideas that you can implement to help you continue to connect with your customers and strengthen your business relationships.
Give an existing client or supplier a sales lead
Offer a referral to your existing customer/supplier. If you know a potential prospect that would be interested in their product or service connect the dots and help make the introduction. If this helps them to generate new business they will be much more likely to reciprocate and introduce you to their contacts that may become future customers for you.
Send a gift and/or note
Sending an inexpensive gift to acknowledge loyal customers can go a long way and acts as a gentle reminder that your business cares about the existing relationship it has already established. It helps create greater visibility and credibility for your business. It could be something quick, simple, or inexpensive like a sweet treat, savory snacks, branded promo item, a birthday card or thank you note.
Invite them to an event
Inviting a potential referral source to an event like a lunch, business networking event, sporting or leisure activity is a good way to build rapport and get a deeper understanding of your clients. In the longer term this may help you to generate more referrals and more business. You can identify opportunities to cross or up sell products and services and can better tailor your solutions to the unique requirements of that client. Something as simple as inviting a client out for a coffee can be a great way to discuss new opportunities. You can update each other on your respective businesses.
Ask them who they enjoy working with
You know that you’ve done a great job and provided your client with a great product or service so ask them for a testimonial or a referral. Don’t be shy about asking for a referral, the truth is people won’t give you one unless they think you deserve one. Therefore, once you’ve established a relationship with a client ask them whether they have anyone in their network that would be a good fit for your business. For example, you could ask: “Who do you enjoy working with that might benefit from my product or service offering?” If they enjoy working with that client, it’s much more likely that they already have a good relationship with that client. Therefore, it would be more likely that you would also work well with them.
Provide them with quality content
Invite them to your webinar, send them a relevant industry article, share a report, give them a heads up about a change in the industry that might affect them. Again this helps to build rapport and develop strong relationships. If you’re on LinkedIn check in from time to time, say hi or congrats on your new promotion or work anniversary. Share an article or piece of relevant news directly with them.
If you want more customer referrals, stay connected and use social tools like LinkedIn to build your business network and nurture relationships.
Set a goal and keep achieving!
Effie Cinanni is Founder and Director of Small Chilli Marketing, a Melbourne based consulting firm specialising in marketing and communications for small business. She is an Associate Member of the Australian Marketing Institute and a Certified Practising Marketer (CPM). She has experience across a range of industries including; IT & software, allied health, children’s services, real estate and professional services. Effie is degree qualified in Marketing & Finance and has worked in marketing and business consulting roles for over for 15 years. Her experience encompasses all facets of marketing, including strategy, planning, digital, communications, branding, event management and online.