For most small businesses, the most common method of acquiring customer referrals is word of mouth. Although this is a great way to expand your business services, you should not be dependent on this referral system. In fact, there are many ways in which you can involve yourself and get more customer referrals and business along your way. Getting a customer recommendation can be a great boost for your business but it shouldn’t be a rare occurrence. You can formalize customer referrals and make the most out of word of mouth sales.
What is the best way to get customer referrals? It is simply to ask for it! Obtaining customer referrals can be as simple as asking your clients and customers to pass on the word. In many cases, the referrer may not know what you expect and explaining the process can help them become a good one. Here are some simple questions you can ask to drive more referrals.
- Have you thought about making the same purchase for a gift?
- Would you be open to buying another one for a friend with a discounted price?
- Is this product adequate for a week or a month?
- Would you mind signing out guest book for special offers?
- Will you need more if you lose, break or use the product faster than anticipated?
When you ask your customers these questions, you will notice that most of them actually enjoy giving referrals as it is considered to be a helpful gesture. In some cases, they just may not know how to. This is where you should step in and tell them how they can be helpful.
Narrow The Field
If you are planning guerrilla marketing based on the referral system, it is important to narrow down the field. For example, if you ask your customers this question:
‘Who else, in your opinion, can benefit for our product/service?‘
Your customer is now thinking of everyone they know and that can range from a few hundred to even a thousand people. They may not feel confident responding to your question and can ask for more time or even forget about it. When this happens, you should not expect them to follow up. The wise thing to ask instead is to narrow down their universe and frame the question differently. For example:
‘Who in your golf circle do you think might be interested in what we have to offer?’
When you frame the question this way, you are forcing them to think of a limited group. The question can change based on the individual interests of the customer and still give you the same results. With a question like this, your customer is most likely to think of a dozen people (at the most) and can actually give you a name or two.
Show Your Enthusiasm
The best time to ask for a customer referral is when they are their most positive frame of mind. This usually happens when they are pleased with your customer service or quality and are complimenting you on your work. When this happens, immediately seize the opportunity and talk to them about referring your work to others they know.