Do you have a referral program?  A lot of people don’t currently have one but are beginning to think about developing one.

One key piece that is often left out of the planning process is the promotion of the referral program once it has been developed.   In fact, I would say promote, promote, promote, and then promote some more.  But you can’t do this in an annoying way.

If you have ever watched the movie “Field of Dreams” you’ll understand the following quote does not apply. “If you build it, they will come.”  After all, a referral program without anyone knowing it exists is worthless.  You must let your customers and strategic partners know about your referral program.
So what is the best way to get the word out and promote or market your referral program?  Well, it all depends upon your target market, but some traditional ways are:

  • Through your email and/or print newsletter
  • On your website and/or blog
  • On the back of your business card
  • Through a direct mail piece such as a jumbo postcard or a letter
  • Through signage in your office or store
  • On the back of receipts
  • Through your sales staff at the end of every sale

The more ways you promote your referral programs the better.  In fact, I would use all of the above ways to let people know about your referral program, especially if you are just starting the program.  But if you can’t do them all, just pick one or two to get started.  How do you get started?  First, get out a clean piece of paper and make a list of the most simple referral program to start.  It does not have to be complicated, it can be something simple like, “I will immediately start entering people into a drawing if they give me a referral.”  Then you document that referral program.  Make sure that everyone and every employee in your business understands the importance of it, and that there will be rewards and penalties.  Rewards for people who use the referral program, and penalties for employees who don’t.

Now remember, just telling them you have a referral program is not going to be enough to get them motivated to send you referrals.  You need to tell them what is in it for them.  (Hint: Your referral program should address this by providing rewards for those who refer).  Then, once you start having people participate in the referral program begin promoting those who have referred.  This will serve as social proof to others, in a sense saying, “Everyone’s doing it.”  
So to summarize:

  1. Build a referral program
  2. Promote the referral program and it’s benefits
  3. Promote those who participate in the referral program

By following these steps you will increase your referrals and will see tremendous business growth.  To start building referrals programs here:  Get Referral Programs.