The strategy I love the most is the Frequent Referrer Program. The concept involves taking the first-time client and having them become a “salesperson” who is excited and enthusiastic about promoting you and your business.
The first time you experience a potential client, make them feel very comfortable and be genuinely excited to meet them to lay the foundation. Give them or tell them about your credentials, so you become an expert in their eyes, Then, exceed their expectation by “wowing” them with a high-value free gift–an e-book, assessment, CD, journal, etc. This gift should be one that they are surprised to receive and that ties in with the essence of your business. You might even want to give multiple gifts. Be sure to tell them the regular price of the gifts. This lays the framework for those becoming your clients to know that the way you treat others is great.
I continue to be amazed that most people do not ask for referrals. It is the most successful marketing strategy on the planet, and yet people are not asking. I think it is because they are uncomfortable and do not know what to say. And so, I am going to give you an idea of wording I have used to build my businesses.
“I am asking a favor of you. if you enjoyed the e-course I provided to you, I would like you to send me someone I can help the same way I have helped you. I am sure they will be pleased and I would also appreciate it. Will you do that for me?”
See how easy it is? All you have to do is ASK! If you don’t ask people to refer, they will not and you will waste money, energy, and time marketing to find clients.
The strategy is based on the principle that if people feel good about referring, they will refer more people. So, I deeply appreciate and acknowledge client referrals. I call people and thank them; I write them a thank you note, and I send them a thank you gift. Many times when I teach this, the student is thinking of how they can do this with less effort. So they do not do all three steps and they get about one-third as many referrals as they could.
The entire frequent referrer program is based on recognizing the people who make the referrals.
The third way you acknowledge them is by a gift program. I recommend a gift that is priced between $10 and $20. Select items they will want to display in their offices or homes. Inscribe the gift. Some of the gifts I have sent over the years include: an acrylic clock, a calculator, and a paperweight.
When they refer the second person, you follow the same system AND you send a more expensive gift–such as a notepad/calculator (engraved again); an emergency car kit; a thermos, etc. For each referral above this, I work in increments of three. For each third referral, I bump the gift up. So, it might be lunch at their favorite restaurant, a weekend getaway, etc. I do not promote this program to my clients. I love to wow them with the surprise gifts.
I have found in approximately nine months time, this program is fully born and referrals flow in. It is great fun for all and I happily pay for a gift of dinner to have a new client.
If you have not yet read the first strategy for bringing clients back, go here.
What one action can you take to set up your frequent referral program?