If you've been in business long, then you know that getting new business is always a lot of work, and that word of mouth referrals are the best type of business to obtain, but that doesn't mean it is the easiest. Like all good things, you'll have to put some work into it, but there are tactics that will help you increase your leads from word of mouth referrals.
Tactics to Increase Your Word of Mouth Referrals
- Become the expert you know you are. - You may know everything there is about your business, but you need to let the world know you're an expert as well. This means giving away information. The easiest way to go about this is to publish content that answers the questions your clients have. When you are seen as the go-to person in your field for information, the word of mouth referrals will follow.
- Go the extra mile and show gratitude. - You may have a great product or service, but that won't always set you apart, at least not in the mind of your clients and customers, but showing gratitude will. Whether it is a free gift, a thank you call, or a card in the mail, showing that your client is more than just a sale to you will go a long way to increasing your referrals.
- Show how much referrals mean to you by offering bonuses. - A bonus for providing a referral that leads to a sale is a good step, but putting a time limit on it is even better. Too often people mean to refer someone to you but then forget. By putting a time limit on the bonus, it will get people thinking about it and acting more quickly. These added incentives not only drive new business but get your existing customers coming back!
- Have a great-looking business card. - Your business card says a lot about you, in fact, more than you may realize. The paper, the font, and even the information you supply either adds to your credibility or detracts from it. The last thing you want is to leave someone with a bad impression because you didn't spend the time on your business card you should have. Great business cards not only get kept around longer but are also more likely to get passed on when the opportunity arrives.
- Connect with influencers in your industry. - You might be surprised how online bloggers, industry experts, and even fans can elevate your brand. Many of these people have large followings on social media. By connecting with influencers both online and through industry networking events and conventions, you can reach a larger audience and gain credibility by association.
- Keep existing customers happy. - Do everything you can to ensure that you're providing the best service possible. A dissatisfied customer will not refer their friends. You can't win them all, but making sure you reconcile any complaints about your business will show that you truly care about customer satisfaction.
- Have a good back story. - When people do business with you, they want to do business with a person that they can connect with, and while your business isn't a person per se, it should have a compelling story that makes people want to be a part of it. Humans love stories, and having one about your business, whether it deals with the founding of your business or your vision for the future, will help people connect with and identify with you.
The goal of any business should be to increase their word of mouth referrals. While it takes time and some work, you can still be well on your way to reaching your goals.