Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

How to Get More Customers from Referrals

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Let’s face it; if people like you, already use your product or service, and are totally satisfied; then there’s a good chance that they’ll recommend you to others.

However, that won’t always happen – people won’t necessarily go around singing your praises to other people, unless someone asks them about you.

You can, however, take various actions to improve your chances of getting referrals; or word of mouth as some people like to call it.

  • Ask people – Ask your existing customers if there’s anyone else they know who could use your product or service.
  • Ask if it’s okay to contact them – and if it’s okay to use their name
  • Ask them – if they’d be kind enough to refer you to the other person
  • Ask if it’s okay to check back – and find out what the other person said. (This encourages the person you’re speaking to – to refer you)
  • Offer incentives – Offer free product, a discount or a prize to an existing customer who refers you to a new customer.
  • Offer a ‘finders fee’ – to anyone who finds you new business or donate money to their charities
  • Have a referral form – This needs to be a simple document that you hand out to customers or give away at events or even post to people. It needs to say something like – “Who do you know who could use our product or service?” Then leave some blanks on the form for the details. Mention what the incentive or reward is for them to do this.
  • Ask for letters or emails of recommendation – Always ask existing customers for some comments you can use on sales letters, your web site or brochure.
  • Listen for referrals – Keep your ears open for referrals. Often a customer will make a throwaway remark – “My brother-in- law suffers from the same problems in his business as I do.” You then, ask politely about the brother-in-law’s business and if it would be okay to contact him. (This seems so simple but many people don’t pick up these remarks or do anything about them.)
  • Thank people for referrals – When new customers contact you, ask them how they heard about you. (You should always do this so that you can evaluate your advertising or promotional activity) If they tell you that they’ve been referred by someone else – send a thank you note to the referrer. It’ll encourage them to refer more people.
  • You refer business to them – It’s the old “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” story. Tell people about businesses you’d recommend. If you think they’ll do something about it – phone your contact at the business you’ve recommended. Tell them – “Watch out for so and so who’s going to phone or come and see you.” Pass on any details you have, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you one day.

And in these days of technology, why not record a video referral. The one at this link, was taken using a compact camera, and it took as long to make as you take to watch it.

Now that you are armed with this information, get out there and find some new customers and clients.

I wish you every success.

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Posted in: Customer service, Sales

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