Why most referral systems fail, and how to overcome them.
If you are considering investing in a referral system you need to understand why most referral systems fail and how to overcome this. There are several key components you must have in a referral system.
- The right referral market (WHO you are trying to get referrals from)
- The right referral message (WHAT you are saying to get referrals)
- Media–(the type of media (letter, post card, etc.) to utilize
If anything of these three things are off in the referral system there is a high likelihood that the referral marketing campaign will not work.
Let’s address each one more more closely.
The right referral market. There are several different thing s to understand involved in a referral market. Your referral marketing systems can go to either target clients via yourself, via your clients, or it can go to referral partners.
If your referral marketing system is going to potential clients via your current clients and customers, then you must make sure to mention what has been done for you in your referral marketing.
If your referral campaign is going to potential clients not via your current clients then you still must mention your current clients.
If your referral campaign is going to referral partners, then you need to mention the incentives that you are giving to referral individuals.
This leads us to the right message.
Each of these messages needs to be different and talk about different things and mention different hot buttons and benefits to each of the different markets. For example if you are going to your referral partners and strategic alliances, you must realize that they have different reasons for giving you referrals versus your current clients.
Your current clients probably give you referral because they believe in what you have done and because you have helped them and they like you. Your referral partners probably also believe this, however, they also probably refer you because you refer them.
The last thing we must talk about in your referral systems is the right media. Should you send a referral card? Should you send a referral letter? What is the beset media to use in your referral system?
The answer: It depends. How do you normally communicate with your clients. If you always communicate with them in one way, it is a good idea to mix it up. In other words, if they only get emails and phone calls from you, then a post card or greeting card certainly can stand out.
The other answer is to test. If you send a referral post card and it works extremely well, then make a note of it and use it again. If a referral card does not work for your referral system, you may need to do something that will stand out.
The last important thing in a referral system is to always try to give before you get. If you do not get any referrals, you may have not earned them, or you may not be persistent enough. So you must always stay the course, and always try to give before you ask if possible.
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