Referral Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses (with FREE Referral Award Certificate Template)
Referral Marketing has earnt its place in the ‘Marketing Basics’ module for a good reason. It is relatively cheap, it is simple to implement and it wins you high-quality, regular customers.
In this lesson, we’ve teamed up with Phil Hall from TLC Bath, the owner of a successful carpet, upholstery, floor and rug cleaning business, to show you how to implement a referral marketing scheme into your business.
We’ll work through the keys steps in Referral Marketing and, thanks to Phil, give you an example strategy that you can put into action.
This lesson is also available as a video! Watch it here.
What is Referral Marketing?
Referral Marketing is all about finding people who can refer you good, new clients. You’ll likely have already had customers that you have obtained through ‘word of mouth’. That’s referral marketing in action! Wasn’t it great that you didn’t have to pay or even work to get that lead?
That’s why you need a system in place to start bringing these cheap, good quality leads consistently, rather than by chance. That’s exactly what Phil did, and he saw first-hand how Referral Marketing creates results; using the technique more than doubled his profits (from £45,000 to an impressive £100,000).
Here are the steps he followed to make this happen:
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 your leaflets and some goodies.
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.
Phil has been applying these steps for more than four years. To make sure he is doing them consistently, he has developed a strategy to make it simple to repeat.
Here’s how to turn these steps into a repeatable system:
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.
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.
3. Keep a record:
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 done he does it for free, giving them a good reason to refer him in the future.
4. Use ‘Referral Award’ Certificates:
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.
To make it super easy for you to start using these certificates, we’ve got a template for you. Here’s how to use it:
Download the certificate template using Google.
Click on the text and edit, just like a Word file. Make sure to use your business colours.
Once you’re done, select “File”, hover over “Download As”, then select “PDF”
You can now print as many copies as you like!
Start implementing a Referral Marketing scheme as soon as you can. It will quickly become a great source of consistent income for your business.