When I talk to clients about implementing a Referral Marketing system to help their business grow, they often tell me they feel weird or uncomfortable about asking for referrals. I’m not sure why though because we all have this inherent need to want to talk about a great product or service whenever we encounter one.
There are 3 pretty spectacular reasons why people make referrals:
1. We refer as a means of survival. We all know that one day we’ll be in need of a product or service and what better way to find the best that’s out there than to get a tip from a friend or colleague. As a result, we make a point of passing on the best that we know in an effort to build credit or our position among the community.
2. We refer to build our network. Giving and making referrals is a great way to connect with others. The more we are able to connect with other people, the larger our network grows and the more we are seen as a trusted source. Making referrals is an incredibly fulfilling way to connect with others. In fact, it has become so popular that referral networking groups are common across many cities and countries.
3. We refer to generate a kind of social currency. You’ve heard “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” If you do something for me, I feel more or less obligated to do something in return.
Regardless of why we make referrals, we still only make them for those that we trust and believe will do us proud. But simply hoping your existing client base will make referrals is not a strategy. In order to make referrals a key part of your marketing strategy, you need to ask for referrals and nurture the process.
How do you generate referrals?