Referrals are a powerful tool because they come from a credible third-party that has first-hand experience on the benefits of your product or service and your company’s professionalism. When referrals come from colleagues, friends and family, the trust and credibility factor can be very high.
While there are varying statistics on why they are the most cost effective forms of marketing, most successful service business owners in Winnipeg will attest to the high value of new business generated by the recommendations of others.
Referrals in any business can be the most cost-effective and successful form of marketing.
You must walk the walk.
Before you can encourage referrals you must ask yourself … Are you confident in your brand identity and reputation? If you want your customers to spread the good word about your service you must be referable.
- Live up to your promises
- Provide the product/service in a timely manner
- Offer quality and value – giving them more for their money
- Be friendly and accommodating
- Always give sincere thanks for their purchase
- Most importantly make it easy to do business with you
Bonus: Provide something completely unexpected. People will soon forget good service but will love and remember a nice surprise.
You must ask for Referrals.
It sounds simple but are you making consistent efforts to let your customers know that referrals are appreciated? Many small business owners assume that referrals will happen just because you provide good customer service. That is simply not true. In today’s world good service is expected, but only great service will set your business apart. You must be proactive in requesting referrals from your network of friends, peers and associates. I like to say that our advertising costs are very low due to the fact that the largest part of our new business comes from referrals. We are then able to pass on more competitive pricing to our client base.
Some Statistics on Referrals
- 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral. (Source: IDC)
- You are 2 times more likely to get an appointment if you have a personal connection with a buyer. (Source: Sales Benchmark Index)
- B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage when introduced. (Source: LinkedIn)
- Referral leads convert 30% better than leads that are generated from all other marketing channels. (Source: R&G Technologies)
- Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value. (Source: Journal of Marketing)
Having been past president and a member of 3 business networking groups over the last 25 years, I can confirm that the easiest and most effective way to encourage referrers from other businesses, vendors and professionals is to be a Referrer. Refer them … generally they will refer you in return!
If you are looking to join a business networking group in Winnipeg there are many to choose from. I have recently joined the Winnipeg chapter of the BoB (Business over Breakfast) club and am happy to endorse all of its members. The following is our club outline taken from the BoB club’s website:
BoB club meetings are held every TWO weeks, giving you plenty of time to generate referrals.
Every member is given 60-90 seconds to do a quick presentation about their business. Every TWO weeks one member is given 10 minutes to carry out a more comprehensive ‘Showcase’ presentation about their business.
There is NO PRESSURE on members or visitors to give referrals at every single meeting, as this only encourages people to give worthless referrals that are not worth pursuing. Our members are more interested in Quality NOT Quantity.
There are lots of Business Networking clubs, Business Networking Groups, Business Networking Chapters and Business networking events around the World. So do go and have a look at them all, but don’t be fooled by the number of people that you see in the room. Don’t forget that Networking is a process NOT an Event. See which type of Business club, Business Group, Business Chapter suits your personal style and then decide which one to join. Networking does not happen overnight and the more you put into it the more you will get back.
BoB clubs are NOT like BNI we are NOT like BRX, we are not like 4networking and we are not like any Chamber of Commerce. We take all the best elements from various networking groups and strive to ensure that BoB clubs are the ‘best of breed’
Don’t take our word for it, why not attend as a visitor and experience our Winnipeg BoB Club for yourself?