5 tips for generating referrals for your small business

4 min read

Ask yourself this question, “will any of my customers refer their friends to my business considering the quality of service I render?” If your answer to this question, as a business owner is “no”, then you know you need to do something about your predicament.

You could consider conducting an NPS survey that will give you a more objective picture of whether or not people would tell other people about your business. But chances are, if you already think people don’t like you enough to refer your business, you are probably right.

Instead of dawdling over an NPS survey, get started on fixing this right away. Outside of going back to the drawing board and building out a tight, useful product, here are 5 quick tips to get your on your way:

1. Leverage client’s compliment

Whenever a customer compliments your service, respond with a thank you, followed by a referral request. For example, “I’m glad you’re satisfied with our service. Kindly refer anyone who can also benefit.”

Having been satisfied with your services, a customer will jump at the idea to refer any close associate. The feeling that they’ll be getting the best of service will motivate him/her to tell someone about your business.

2. Ask for online reviews

When a customer expresses excitement about your product or service, don’t be shy to ask them to post a review online. Online reviews are a form of advertising for your business. Getting listed on business directory sites makes it possible for reviews to be left on your business page. A directory like VConnect gets millions of visitor every day and has a built-in review feature that makes it possible for users to review your business in mere minutes.

You can also ask for reviews when sending a thank you note via email to your customers. Include the links to your business profile on the business directory sites you’re listed. This will make it easy for them to post their reviews.

3. Offer incentives to those who refer your business

Everyone often enjoys freebies. When you offer an incentive to a referrer as a way of saying “thank you” for referring a new customer, they are most likely going to get motivated to refer yet another customer.

The type of incentive you offer should fit into the kind of business you run. For example, if your business is serviced based, you can offer a discount. If it’s a product based business, offering a free item can be an enticing idea.

Getting a new customer can often grow into many customers if they take advantage of your incentive offer and continue to refer your business to their family, friends, and social networks.

4. Partner with other businesses

Your company often work with other businesses within your industries. These other businesses obviously work with your target audience, so their referrals might be a great way to get a lot of customers quickly.

You can develop a partnership once you discover one that has a good reputation. A give and take idea can be introduced here, where you decide to refer them to clients just as the same thing is being done for your business.

5. Make it easy for your customers to refer you

If your customers have to fight world war III to find your contact information, they’ll probably forget about referring you. Make sure that each time a customer leaves your office, you hand them a business card with your contact details.

Always add links to review sites in all your external communications. Email, social media, text messages etc. Post the answers to “What do I do?” and “Why me?” in downloadable pdfs on your website. You can decide to share the link through all your external communication channels.

In conclusion, as a small business owner, you should concentrate more on delivering quality services to your customers. When your customers are satisfied, they’ll help you sell your products and services. If a satisfied customer tells a close friend about your business, then their trust is immediately transferred to your business. What all this means is more and more sales for you.

Which big client have you landed through the power of referrals? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Olumide Olayeye

Olumide Olayeye is an ardent sport lover, occasional writer and an aspiring entrepreneur.

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