It’s now nearly 2022. Your prospective clients are becoming more and more difficult to reach.
Advertising dollars are not nearly as reliable anymore and behaviors can change literally overnight.
As an individual professional or a small business owner, how do you get your message out reliably and in a way that resonates with your prospective clients? How do you stand out from the masses? How can you afford it?
While traditional, facebook, or google ad campaigns are getting more expensive and less effective, the importance of trust is on the rise.
This is GREAT news for you!
Why? Because it’s much easier for a small business to leverage trust, especially if they leverage referrals.
Referrals are highly personal and extremely powerful. They come at the right time, to the right people, for the right reasons.
Consider some of these stats...
Obviously referrals are crucial when you're accepting new clients. This is why the folks at Referral Program Pros have created this FREE GUIDE:
This is key. Think about what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to double your business? 10x your business? Are you just starting out but want to ramp up strong with your first sales?
In an ideal world, how many NEW customers would be coming your way?
Be thoughtful and realistic about this. Dream big, but make sure you can handle an influx of new business.
A properly designed and well executed referral program is extremely effective at generating new customers.
What is your business model? How much is your average sale? What does it cost you to make that sale?
Your margins will play a big part in how you structure the offer for your referral sources.
What stage are you at in your business? Are you just starting out? Looking to add a few more customers here and there? Ready for massive growth?
These answers will affect the offer you make to your referral sources.
Keep in mind that this is all NEW business that you would most likely have had otherwise.
Say you're a personal trainer and you have a 3 month package for $2,500. You might offer $250 to your referral sources for this as long as you're not going to fill up with full paying clients.
After all, you can have 100% of $0 or you can have 90% of $2,500.
Who do you ask to be a referral source? How many people do you ask? HOW do you ask? What types of people make the best referral sources? What is the best system for ongoing recruitment?
First of all, the key here is not to ASK, but rather to INVITE referral sources to be an advocate for your business.
You're doing this because you value the relationship and you feel comfortable with them being a brand ambassador for you.
You need to make this point VERY clear.
Then tell them what the offer is (how they will benefit) as clearly as possible and invite them to be a part of this exclusive group of brand ambassadors.
Once you have referral sources on board, how do you ensure that they stay excited and keep your business top of mind? What tools can you give them to bring in referrals? What are they trying to get out of it? What kind of value add can you offer to keep their attention and maintain engagement?
Knowing these things up front is the difference between STARTING a referral program and MONETIZING a referral program.
This is an often over-looked aspect of a referral program, and can cause you to either keep or kill your golden geese.
Whatever the agreement was, keep it.
Compensate your referral sources on time, every time and err on the side of generosity to keep them laying golden eggs for you.
Again, keep in mind that this is all NEW business that you wouldn't have had otherwise.
Paying referral sources is basically like paying for more advertising. With a reward in hand, they'll certainly be likely to deliver you business at the next opportunity.