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Spread the Word – The Power of Referral Marketing
By: Bev Strickland, Strictlymarketing
Despite the array of digital marketing choices now available – the truth is, referrals remain the most powerful form of marketing any business can have, as well as the simplest and least expensive.
It is easy for businesses to get sidetracked by modern technology but word-of-mouth referrals have always been, and will always be, the most effective tool to gain new business.
People feel more comfortable when a new product or service is referred by someone they know and trust, making existing customers and clients by far your best salespeople.
So it makes sense to put the systems in place for your customers to find more business for you. But this is where many businesses let themselves down – they know the power of referrals but have no strategy in place to maximise its potential.
The key to implementing such a strategy is recognising and rewarding your existing customers and clients for sending new business your way. If a customer thinks enough of you to refer someone they know, show your appreciation.
Make it worth their while by providing motivation for referrals. Be generous with incentives, such as gifts, discounts or cash and make sure they are relevant – there is no point giving them tickets to the opera when they would rather go to the footy!
Most importantly, be consistent in your approach. Take the time to put a system in place for all customers and then the program will run itself. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity and cost effectiveness of it, the bottom line is, it works!
A referrals system does not need to be expensive or complicated. It is all about communicating with your clients, showing gratitude for their support, and incentive to direct more business your way.
Once you have a formal referrals system in place, make sure you tell everybody about it. This is where the new technological mediums come to the fore – promote your system via email, website, newsletter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter etc.
Before the advent of these social media tools, marketing was built around word-of-mouth referrals. This was the very first form of viral marketing. An old idea is new again by promoting this very effective tool across all new mediums now available.