In a digital world, there’s still something powerful about word of mouth. Statistics consistently show that people trust recommendations from their friends and family more than they trust advertising and other communications from brands. Even reviews and recommendations from strangers online can be more believable and trustworthy.
How can you use these facts to the advantage of your business? Referral marketing can help you increase sales and profits, and promotional products can help. Here are some ways you can gain more customer referrals for your business.
Ask for them
The simplest way to encourage your customers to refer you is to ask them. This can just be a casual comment along the lines of, “If you know anyone else who could benefit from our product/service, then don’t hesitate to recommend us.” You could have this conversation with a customer in-store after they’ve bought for you, or send it in an email to online customers.
The key is to make sure you’re providing a service that is worth recommending, so make sure customer satisfaction is a high priority.
Set up a referral program
One way to increase referrals from your customers is to incentivize them with a reward program. This could be as simple as offering your customer a discount on their next purchase if someone they refer to you becomes a customer.
You can also use promotional products in your referral program, giving branded gifts to your customers once they make a referral. You can then scale this up so that they receive bigger rewards based on how many people they refer to you.
As well as your customers or clients, other businesses can help you gain more referrals. The best way to achieve this is to reach out to a business that offers products or services that are complementary to yours and agreeing to give referrals to each other.
Let’s say you own a store that sells clothing, footwear, and equipment for hiking and climbing; partnering with a local climbing center could help you both get more customers. You know that the interests of your customers overlap, so you can refer your customers to the other business, and vice versa.
As well as making direct referrals to each other’s customers, you can also advertise the other business in your store or premises. Why not give some of your promotional products to your partner business so they can hand them out to interested customers?