Getting new clients on board can be done with many different tactics. Discounts, email marketing campaigns and the classic sales techniques can all be part of your strategy to finding new clients who will stick.
However, one of the classic and most successful ways of finding new, high quality clients is through referrals from your current clients. These are the highest recommendation that could be passed on, and will be invaluable in terms of brand awareness.
If you’re looking into setting up a client referral scheme, here are some of the most successful ways your company can receive great referrals.
Pick the right time
First thing on a Monday or on a Friday afternoon are without a doubt the worst times to ask your clients for a referral. They’ve either just walked into the office (and to hundreds of other emails) or their mind will have already left for the weekend, and will be busy thinking about what type of wine to pick up from the shop on the way home.
Think carefully about when the right time to email your clients is. Statistically speaking, Thursday is the best day to ask for a raise, which means people are a little more relaxed and likely to reply to your query with a glittering recommendation on this day too.
Send a template
Your clients are busy people. They may love your service and value the fact that you want to grow it through client referrals but if they’re running through a busy period, your referral will come at the bottom of the list.
This is why sending a template of a referral can be a huge help to those whose schedules are booked weeks in advance. All they have to do is insert their name and the client they want to refer and they’re good to go.
While including a client referral template is a good idea, you still need to offer clients the opportunity to write their own. You don’t want to put words in their mouth if they have their own ideas about your business, so make sure you’re just offering this as an alternative.
The key to high quality client referrals is to prove that you really value what your customers think. To provide a top notch service, you need to keep communication between yourself and clients open so they can get in touch and voice their concerns at any time.
Create feedback questionnaires and send them out to your clients. If they only take a couple of minutes to complete and offer an incentive, clients will be inclined to fill them out.
Use the feedback you receive to improve certain aspects of the company that need working on and to keep clients happy with the service. You should notify clients once any changes have come into effect so they can see that you value their input and are working to make your service better for clients.
Take advantage of existing networks
The first thing that will spring to mind when you’re thinking up ideas on how to gain client referrals will be your email marketing system. This is can be a great way to distribute to your current clients, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get 100% feedback.
Sales emails will soon become a thing of the past as fewer of us are opening anything that we aren’t already expecting. Anything offering an incentive could come off as too salesy, and anything too informal can be seen straight-through for the marketing ploy it is.
Take advantage of other networks you’re part of, such as LinkedIn. These contacts will be invaluable when you’re drumming up business. Don’t leave it out when you’re thinking of ways to get new clients on board.
Go above and beyond
If you really want the best client referrals, the answer is pretty simple. Do what the others aren’t. Connect with audiences in a way they won’t expect and offer more than you need to.
We’ve all seen the big name brands engaging with their customers on Twitter and speaking as though they’re actual real live human beings behind that big corporate name. Well, that’s what your clients need to see too.
Remaining professional is important, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun – especially if your brand allows for it. Chat to clients online and get stuck in. Companies have even been known to order pizza for their customers once in a while – so don’t rule it out if your budget allows for it!