The first thing is usually the last thing.
The first thing that needs to happen after satisfying a customer is to ask for a referral. Yet, the referral ask is often procrastinated until the 5th of No-never.
It’s a simple matter of Kool-aid. Some companies fail to drink their own.
When we truly believe in the power of our product or service to meet the needs of a customer, it becomes easier to ask for a referral. If I’m selling television advertising and I KNOW that television advertising WORKS for a client, why wouldn’t I want to ask clients to recommend other businesses to me?
It seems to me that referrals are the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction research is necessary but not sufficient. The true story of satisfaction is answered in this question…
“Will you recommend us to your friends?”
As a customer, I may be happy enough to say nice things on a customer satisfaction survey but be unwilling to refer your company to a friend. A true, raving fan is happy to refer a friend to the business.
A company that doesn’t achieve referrals is missing the power of multiplication.
Referral marketing is the life-line of a marketing plan. Far too much money is spent in advertising budgets (as measured by ROI) and far too little money is spent to encourage current customers to refer a friend to the business.
We need our happy customers to be fruitful and multiply!
Tips to multiply sales through referrals:
• Be referable. Seriously. What needs to happen in your company to achieve the level of satisfaction necessary to achieve high referrals?
• Make asking a habit. We have not because we ask not.
• Create a powerful system. Document what needs to happen. Execute and inspect the system to make sure all cylinders are firing. Read “Referral Engine” by John Jantsch.
• Train your team to ask. A good referral system requires a daily commitment to training. Employees do not want to ask for referrals.
• Automate. Use social media and other technology in your referral system.
Customers will multiply in places in which the environment is conducive to growth. Good soil. Frequent watering and excellent fertilizer are key ingredients to farming referrals.
Multiplication is a choice.
What are you doing to multiply referrals?