One of the very best ways to generate new sales is by referrals from existing customers and there are many ways in which you can encourage this behavior from your customers. First, provide excellent customer service that goes beyond what is expected, to your current customers so that when you do ask and encourage them to promote your business they will be proud to do so.
Get a Referral Script To Get Referrals from Existing Customers
Make it part of your business process to ask your customers to give you a referral and the best way to ask for a referral is with a referral script such as “my business is expanding and I’m looking for a few new customers, who do you know that I can help?” and the best time to ask this question, is a week or so after you have delivered your product or service, so that everything is still new and fresh in your customers mind.
Have a Contest To Get Referrals from Existing Customers
Get your customers to make a video testimonial of why they love your business. Tell your customers that the person who gets the most votes on their video promotion will win something free from you that is designed only for your audience and current customers.
Give Referral Credits
Let your customers know that you want them to tell others about you by sending them encouragement to do so in the form of credits against the work you do for them, I have successfully used this for many years.
Start an Affiliate Program
You don’t have to open an affiliate programs to everyone that comes to your website; they can be members’ only or in this case customer only affiliate programs. If you have exclusive deals only for your customers to promote you, they will be more likely to do so.
Ask for Referrals via LinkedIn
Don’t send out the generic request offered by LinkedIn to get referrals, instead, take the time to send a special request to each person that you want to refer you as you’ll get a much better response.
Ask for Testimonials for Your Website
Within the first 30 to 50 days of doing business with a customer, send them a form to put a testimonial on your website. If you use WordPress, there are great testimonial plugins that you can use to make this process simple for you and the client.
Testimonial plugin link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/testimonials-widget/
Ask for Feedback
When you send an invoice, that’s a great time to ask for feedback from your client. Freshbooks.com now offers this as a service automatically when you send an invoice to any client. If they send good feedback, tell them you’re accepting new clients or about your customer only affiliate program.
Celebrate Good Customers
If someone has been a customer for a period of time, call them out on your blog about how awesome they are. You can even ask them to write the blog post for you by sending them a questionnaire to explain why they enjoy being your customer.
Social Media Sharing
Give customers the opportunity to share on social media what you’ve done for them or what you’ve sold to them. Amazon has a great system set up for this where, when you make a purchase, you’re given the opportunity to share your purchase with your friends.
Getting customers to promote your products and services for you is good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. It’s the best form of marketing money can and cannot buy. As they say, birds of a feather flock together, so it’s more than likely that your customer knows other people who fit in with the demographics of your target audience. If you get referrals from existing customers and they share your awesomeness with others, they’re much more likely to buy from you than anyone else.