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Jump start new business with a referral program!

BY Sumer Beatty — March 17, 2017

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Trust is the cornerstone of any successful business partnership. That’s why most businesses can benefit from a well-planned referral program. It makes sense, right? People are more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague than any other form of advertising. It’s simple. We trust our friends to give us unbiased and honest feedback about their experiences. If we can’t trust our closest comrades, who can we trust?

Step 1: Make Your Customers Happy!

So, how can your business incorporate a referral program? The first step is easy and you’re probably already doing it. Make your current customers happy! Deliver on your promises and give your clients a reason to be satisfied with their purchase. If they are pleased, they will tell others.

Step 2: Reward Satisfied Clients.

Next, reward them for their referrals. Understand what motivates your audience to refer others and make this your incentive. You may give them a discount on their next purchase or even reward both parties. This means you give the current client who refers you an incentive plus the new client as well. A program where both referrer and referee are rewarded gives the new customer an opportunity to try your service or product at a lower cost or receive a special gift for doing so. Plus, you get the opportunity to wow a new customer! It’s a win-win-win!

Step 3: Promote the Program.

When you have a program in place, it’s important to share the details with your clientele. The best time to ask for a referral is immediately following a sale. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. Follow-up with the purchase by sending a thank you note or an email. Encourage them to share their experience with others and detail the incentive program at the same time. The referral program can also be shared in other ways, such as:

  • Signage placed at your store or business location.
  • Postcards sent to your current clients.
  • Social media posts to encourage participation and online reviews.
  • Blog posts or website pages can also outline program information

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Step 4: Keep it Simple.

Make every effort to setup your program in a way that will encourage participation. The easier it is to refer others, the more people will take advantage of it. For example, create a unique referral link for each customer and have them share with others. This can be done through social media or email. This is a highly trackable method and is very easy to complete. For businesses that don’t have a high number of clients using social media, a more traditional approach, such as referral card, could work just as well. Design your program around your audience and make it accessible to them!

Step 5: Jump-Start your Program Today.

It’s time to get the conversation started and begin planning your referral strategy. If you’re unsure where to start or need help developing your plan, the Sire team is here! We’ve worked with a number of clients and helped them implement effective programs designed to boost new business through referrals. Your business could be next! Call us today at 570.743.3900.

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