LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Blog
Setting Up a Referral Strategy Utilizing Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Clients
Every business loves a good referral. Sometimes a referral can feel like getting something for nothing.
There was no marketing…no cold calling. No effort was put in to get that warm lead. But in all actuality, a lot of work was put in to get that lead. It just wasn’t in the way that you thought.
All that work that you did for your client, all the hours of service you provided them, all the results that they saw from the fruits of your labor led them to give you the referral.
And who better to do that than your clients?
The problem is that most businesses are too focused on other marketing efforts to realize the power that comes from actually developing and implementing a referral strategy that utilizes their clients.
Here’s the real kicker – your clients WANT to refer your business. They WANT to send warm leads your way.
WHY YOUR CLIENTS WANT TO SEND YOU REFERRALS
Most business owners and execs are on the lookout for ways to help their network. When a colleague has a need or a problem, they want to be the ones to solve it. They know that if they can provide a solution to their colleague’s problems, their colleague will eventually be a referral partner or possibly even a client.
Everyone likes “flexing their muscles” and showing that they have THE ANSWER. If one of your clients has a colleague with a problem that your business can solve, they are going to send them your way because it makes them look like they have the solution to the problem.
It makes them look good.
Your clients also know that the more referrals they can send your way, the better they are going to be treated and they will receive better quality work.
So, if your clients want to send you referrals, then where is the hold up? Why don’t some clients send any referrals your way regardless of how good your work is?
The answer is that they don’t know what to say. They don’t know how to promote YOUR business. They only know how to promote THEIR business. And that’s okay. They don’t have to be the world’s greatest spokesman to promote your business…but they may need some help.
HOW TO GET YOUR CLIENTS TO SEND YOU MORE REFERRALS
1) First, you need to craft a referral pitch. This is similar to an elevator pitch, but it needs to be tailored specifically to a referral situation. This will give your clients the tools they need to properly inform their network about your business.
They won’t be left guessing as to what to say. You don’t need to write an entire novel explaining your services. Just a couple of short paragraphs will do.
Then your client knows exactly what to say to someone who needs your services. They will be able to explain how your services can solve their colleague’s problem.
2) Next, you need to have a conversation with each client about your referral strategy. There’s nothing wrong with being up front and letting them know you are looking for more business and to get more referrals.
At this point you can give them any tools they need…like the referral pitch that you crafted. They’ll welcome the tools because it takes the pressure off of them to create anything they need to refer your business.
3) The last thing you need to do is reciprocate. Let your client know that you are willing and wanting to refer their business as well. Ask for their referral pitch or anything else you need so that when someone in your own network comes along and needs your client’s services, you can refer them.
This system will actually strengthen the relationship between you and your clients.
You need to be proactive when creating this referral strategy, though. Simply just saying to yourself, “I want to get more clients through referrals,” is not going to cut it. Doing better work for clients will not necessarily improve the situation either. Your clients already know you do good work. The key is getting them the tools they need to refer your business.
Just like any good marketing tactic, a referral strategy will take time, effort, and hard work to put it in place. But once you do, you will drastically increase the amount of warm leads that you have coming in on an ongoing basis. And you’ll keep your clients happier and on board as clients for a much longer time.