To all the skeptics out there who believe that the internet and online marketing have killed off the need for person-to-person contact, you’re in for a rude awakening. The big ol’ world wide web has created some great new and exciting ways to market yourself or your business, but it doesn’t mean you must abandon all personalization.
Think about the last great experience you had with a business, would you refer them to a friend or colleague? Or did you? Referrals can be a crucial piece of the puzzle for a business, yet they’re a hard and sometimes awkward thing to request from your clients or customers.
We turned to some of our Contactually influencers and partners to see how they plan on gaining referrals in 2016 and they offered up their ideas, plans, and advice so that we can take a page out of their books this year.
How the pros get their referrals…
These guys are the best of the best and for many of them, creating marketing strategies for other businesses is their forte. So, why wouldn’t you take into account their own plans for getting referrals?
Before you make your big plans for reaching out to your clients and asking for a referral, take a step back and reassess how you’ll be going about it.
Real estate agents are predicting that 49% of their leads will come from client referrals in 2016. That’s nearly half of their business. And great proof that the art of referrals is far from dead, even if you’re not in real estate. Here’s what these influencers have to say…
John Lee Dumas — Founder and host of the award-winning podcast Entrepreneur on Fire.
“Launching a Kickstarter campaign! I have been wanting to do so for years, but 2016 is finally the year I have done it, and the referrals are ROLLING in for TheFreedomJournal.com. Loving it!”
John Ruhlin — Founder of The Ruhlin Group, which specializes in assisting companies and brands develop and execute appreciation programs for their employees, clients, stakeholders etc.
“I am going to love on and appreciate my A level clients and key referral sources with world class gifts once a quarter so that I stay top of mind and inspire them to reciprocate and share what we do. The first round of 250 gifts goes out just before St Patrick’s Day around the theme of “being so lucky and blessed to partner” with such amazing people!!”
Michelle Tillis Lederman — Founder of Executive Essentials, an expert in workplace communications and relationships, and author of The 11 Laws of Likability and Heroes Get Hired.
“Getting more referrals comes down to one simple thing… you need to ask for them. Tell people what your goals are and who you would appreciate connecting with. People generally want to help, you just need to tell them how.”
Dave Delaney — Digital marketing and social media expert consultant and keynote speaker, and the author of New Business Networking.
“It’s always best to begin with your network of clients and contacts. I’ll continue to use Contactually to keep me focused. Finally, I’ll be using my Daily Goals Worksheet to set and track my goals. Your readers can grab a free copy of this from davedelaney.me.”
Dorie Clark — Branding Expert, Marketing Strategist and Duke Professor. You can find her work in the Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur, or just check out her books Reinventing You and Stand Out.
“I am asking coaching clients to make testimonial videos like these, and sharing their experiences with me. When we both share and promote the videos, it’s a win-win, and potential clients get a much better sense of what it’s like to work with me.”
Jeremy Goldman — Entrepreneur, strategist, founder of Firebrand Group, and author of the book Going Social.
“In 2016 we’ll be doing more consultations from inbound marketing, which has worked for us in the past quite well. Another key to 2016 success will be taking more relationship-building meetings: even when a sale isn’t in the cards in the short-term, it’s important to be developing long-term relationships.”
Susan RoAne – Keynote speaker and author of the bestselling book How to Work a Room.
In a word, “asking”. (Both online and in-person). More specifically, letting people know I’m interested in and would appreciate being recommended. It’s my experience that people who know and know of me, don’t think to refer or recommend me to speak because of the great success of How To Work a Room®. So that’s my “job” for 2016.
I do it in a conversational manner that never backs someone in a corner.
Go forth and get those referrals
Which is your favorite tip? We’re always a big fan of sending out gifts and thoughtful thank you notes to our clients. We actually dedicate some time each Friday afternoon to send out handwritten thank you notes to our customers, you can’t believe how much it means to them.
Whether you’re sending something thoughtful or asking your customers for a quick review on Yelp or to share a testimonial story, you’re sure to start seeing more referrals rolling in throughout the new year. Let 2016 be your most prosperous yet!
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