85% Small Businesses Voted As # 1 – Word-Of-Mouth Referrals
How To Start A Word-Of-Mouth Referrals Program To Get More Customers
Alignable completed a survey of 7,500 small-business owners in North America and asked participants what’s the best way to acquire local customers? Here are the results:
- 85 percent said word-of-mouth referrals are # 1 for new customers
- 9 percent said Google Ads / Facebook Ads
- 2 percent said radio ads
- 2 percent said direct mail
- 1 percent said newspaper ads
To make the most of your referrals, you’ll need to differentiate your three different types of referral partners to help you get more customers:
1. Reciprocal Referral Partners
In order for both parties to benefit with equitable referrals, each partner must have the same opportunity for sending referrals and must be non-competing industries. For example, realtors partnering with mortgage brokers, interior decorators with artists, or IT consulting firms with the IBM and Microsoft partner channels.
2. Ambassador Referral Partners
In this type of relationship, the partners do not have similar expectations of receiving equitable referrals. The “Ambassador” partner is expected to send referrals over to the other partner, but does not expect as many (or any) referrals in return. The partner who sends referrals is usually a hub or centre of influence that comes in contact with a lot of people within a specific target market that fits with the receiving business. For example, a hairdresser can be a great Ambassador Referral Partner for a Beauty Salon if they see and talk everyday to clients who would be ideal for manicure or pedicure services.
3. Client Referral Partners
Your own clients, especially your “raving fans”, can be an excellent source of endorsement for your business. The key to an effective client referral partnership is to develop a system that is “top of mind” and encourages collaborative effort from your existing or past clients. Think about what you need to do differently to get your clients to refer you business. Do you keep in touch with your clients by inviting them out for lunches? Do you use email newsletters to keep your clients up-to-date? Do you reward them with a gift card or some other form of recognition for their referrals?
Give Fun Rewards For Your Referral Network
The stronger your referral network is, the more referrals you’ll receive. This involves growing your referral network by attending networking events, joining referral networks like BNI, or joining social communities like Alignable and LinkedIn. You can also email everyone in your referral network (past customers, contacts, network connections) about what they should know about your business this month and how they can help spread the word. Offer a fun rewards as incentives. Here’s how you can get started with your own referral program.
Offer Dining & Vacation Incentives For Referrals
Big advertisers such as Hilton, Marriott, Ramada, and other Fortune 500 companies have been leveraging dining and vacation incentives for years prior to online advertising. Now local small businesses such real estate companies, insurance agencies, finance companies, car dealerships, event-based organizations and any other industry can finally leverage dining and travel incentives to get more sales. Who doesn’t want to save on dining out and on vacations? You can even use discount dining vouchers and free hotel stays in your referral program.
Dining Advantage® is the old Entertainment printed book now online. Dining Advantage® features over 100,000 offers with discounts up to 50% off, all backed by the power of Entertainment® Est. 1962. Choose from a broad selection of deals across all dining categories and cuisines, from local favorites and popular brands in Canada and USA!
BookVIP® has traveled over 1 million families to date with the world’s leading hotel chains, and resorts to help them fill their otherwise empty rooms. Hotels rarely experience full occupancy, yet they remain open, providing rooms and services at fixed costs. So when hotels give out their rooms by partnering with BookVIP, they miss out on the room fee they already didn’t have that in the first place, but now they gain customers for their in-house restaurants, room service, their casinos, an extra nights stay, future bookings, referrals and more!
Now you can enjoy the same dining and vacation incentives by joining our referral program!
Join Our Referral Program. Get A Free 3-Night Vacation Getaway!