A How-To Guide To Building A Referral Marketing Plan

building a referral marketing planReferral marketing plans can be especially powerful in the context of growing your business. Repeat customers who appreciate your service or products can be some of your best resources for obtaining quality leads. Here’s a quick how-to guide for building a referral marketing plan that gets results.

  • Your first step in building a referral marketing plan should be to set clear goals. When you first start out, measure your performance based on how many referrals you receive, not how many of them result in closes. This measures your performance, which is the only thing you can control in the equation.
  • Next, decide who to ask for referrals. While you should ask all satisfied clients, start with the ones who you know are thrilled with your service. If possible, choose those who have been involved with your company for a long time.
  • Then, put a system in place to ask for referrals, design mailings with a postage-paid envelope for easy response, or craft an e-mail with an online response form. Make it convenient for your clients to provide you the information.
  • Give back to your best clients with a free service or bonus before asking for a referral. If your top clients are repeat customers, you probably already understand this. However, it’s important enough to bear repeating. Butter your clients up!
  • Remember, you’re building a referral marketing plan to take your business in a specific direction, so tell your top clients about it, and what kinds of new clients you’re looking to work with.
  • After a client sends a certain number of leads your way, reward them with another freebie, discount or bonus.
  • Say thank you! Send a thank you note to your new referral, and to the client who sent them your way. If you are receiving referrals from a business associate, networking group member, or referral partner, make sure to acknowledge them.
  • Keep track of the referrals you receive, the source of each referral, and how many ended up buying from you — to measure the effectiveness of your program.

Building a referral marketing program should be based on a foundation of trust and respect between you and your clients. Make sure to set clear goals and be flexible, and in time you’ll have a flourishing referral business. Tell us about your referral marketing program.

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