Please Refer To… You!

Referrals. They’ve been around for ages. In fact, I can mentally picture Oog giving Ock a 20% larger club for his having referred his cousin, Smook, who purchased a club just last week.

To some degree, referrals are one of the highest compliments that your consumers and clients can pay you. Why? Think about it: Would you stick your neck out for a business who didn’t treat you well? Would you want to be responsible for recommending that veterinarian who, somehow, accidentally spayed Aunt Mabel’s cat, even though it was male? Of course not!

Personally, I am more than reluctant to refer anyone to anyone else, or anywhere else. But – when I do – my acquaintances know me well enough to know that it’s a lock: that referral is sound. And they’d be a sucker not to listen. I also have friends who, when a recommendation is made, I follow it unquestioningly because I know they’re like me in this sense.

Encouraging referrals is always recommended. In fact, I would recommend putting the specifics right on your door, entrance side and exit side, so that the first & last thing your clients see is that resounding message. Then, you can periodically take it a step further. To do so, you will have to remember two inalienable truths:

– People are inherently lazy
– You will need something profoundly worth it to them to negate truth #1

This is where freebies, coupons, and discounts come in. Think of something that you can give up, without breaking the bank, but that’s also not so Chintzy as to make it a non-starter. I’ve seen so many ‘referral’ campaigns fail. And some are just downright stupid. I can save a dollar on a $25.00 purchase with a referral and two coupons? Who in the world cares? That sounds waaay too much like work to me. Give me something I can sink my financial teeth into.

One of the most egregious offenders, in my personal opinion, are the satellite television providers. They offer $50.00 for a referral. Not a bad chunk of change but, considering what it will take to get someone to switch carriers, not exactly a stellar incentive, either. Were it me, I’d up the stakes, and look at the big picture. How about $250.00 for a referral? Now you’ve got my attention – now I’m motivated. Heck, now I’m a veritable Apostle for your business venture.

See the difference?

This is why it’s so important to quantify the ‘quality’ of the referral incentive – give as much up as you possibly can in the now, for the rewards in the aftermath and down the road. Consider it well and, above all – make it simple: REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, SIMPLE – and then see what happens. If it doesn’t work as you would have liked, ask for feedback. Why aren’t folks referring? What would incite them to do so that you’re not already doing? Be flexible until you get it honed to perfection. And than be amazed with the results.

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~ by digitalninjasmedia on November 8, 2011.

 
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