Referral Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses
The diary can look quiet this time of year but we have a tip to help you proactively find new customers. Our client, Phil Hall from TLC Bath, is the owner of a successful carpet, upholstery, floor and rug cleaning business and has seen first-hand how Referral Source Marketing can bring results. Phil told us how he more than doubled his profits (from £45,000 to an impressive £100,000) and made his life so much better.
We’ll work through the keys steps in Referral Source Marketing and, thanks to Phil, an example strategy that you can put into action. It’s all about finding the people that can refer good, new clients to you and then following a system to build relationships with them.
Networking ideas for small businesses
STEP 1: FIND BUSINESSES WITH A SIMILAR TARGET AUDIENCE TO YOU
Make sure you approach the right retailers with links to your services. Carpet cleaners can connect with letting agents, carpet and flooring shops for example, who will be coming into contact with your target customers on a regular basis.
STEP 2: BRING GOODIES AND YOUR LEAFLETS
The next step is to go and introduce yourself to the businesses. Most of us dread these interactions but taking a gift, such as cakes or fruit, can make it easier. Ask if you can leave your leaflets after giving a gift and you’re almost guaranteed a ‘yes’!
STEP 3: VISIT ON A REGULAR BASIS
Pop back in and bring more goodies and more leaflets. Get to know them! Studies have shown it can take up to seven visits to build a trusting relationship.
STEP 4: BUILD A RELATIONSHIP
As time passes and rapport is built, you’ll be their go-to when asked to recommend a cleaning service – and the new customers will start coming in.
How you can grow your business with Referral Source Marketing
Phil has four years experience of applying these steps and using Referral Source Marketing. He has his own strategy which we are excited he has shared with us.
PHIL’S STRATEGY 1: MAKE A LIST OF YOUR LOCAL RETAILERS
Research and planning is key to optimising results. Phil keeps a file of all the businesses that he shares a target audience with and adds to it continually.
PHIL’S STRATEGY 2: WORK OUT A ROUTE
By ordering this list of retailers into a route, Phil makes sure that he is reaching them efficiently and keeping his milage down – crucially saving his time and money. He also uses the journey as an opportunity to keep his eyes peeled for new retailers.
PHIL’S STRATEGY 3: MAKE A RECORD OF WHEN YOU PLAN TO VISIT YOUR NETWORK
He then records the dates and gifts from each visit as soon as he’s back in the car! He continues to visit his network and jumps at the chance to prove his business is reliable – if any of the retailers need a job doing he does it for free, giving them good reason to refer him in the future.
The benefits of Referral Source Marketing
By implementing this strategy, Phil has seen a huge £70,000 of his £300,000 turnover come from referrals alone. To help keep the referrals coming in, he also uses ‘referral reward certificates’ with either cash bonuses or a charity donation available to those in his network who are routinely sending business his way. Phil reports an impressive £15-£1 return on investment, so why not try Referral Source Marketing for your business? It could be the boost you need for the new year.
We’ve seen how referrals from your network can help, but what about reviews from your clients? Click here to read more: HOW TO GET MORE GOOGLE, FACEBOOK AND YELP REVIEWS