Referral marketing, or word-of-mouth marketing is one of the oldest (and still most effective!) marketing strategies. People buying your products and services because somebody they trust recommends it to them.
Word-of-mouth is a subtle process that is present everywhere in our daily lives. The reason for which a lot of small businesses do not consider it more is because of the simple fact that it’s not that visible like a TV commercial and you can not just pay for it.
Nevertheless, study after study, word of mouth always shows up like the most powerful form of promoting your business. Just look at the numbers below, from a study performed by the Nielsen Company (a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy).
Basically, the graph shows that 90% of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth from their friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Also, 70% of them trust other consumers’ opinion posted online.
1. It comes with the persuasion factor already included!
Referral marketing works, because people trust the opinions of other people they respect and love, like their friends, family or other people they admire.
Think about that: when was the last time you went to a new restaurant because your friend couldn’t stop talking about how good the food was when he went there?
2. The laser targeting aspect of referral marketing!
With referral marketing, all the targeting is magically and perfectly done for you. Many of your clients will recommend you are amazing products and services to those friends and family members (and social media followers) that WANT it and NEED it the most. So you see? Your targeting can’t get any better than this (and without any efforts on your part whatsoever!).
3. The reach of referral marketing today increases through social media and online apps.
With a simple Facebook post or the Instagram selfie, everybody can reach hundreds of (trusted) people in just seconds. This is also valid in the opposite way: a very good testimonial about your brand or products/services, posted on social media, will reach hundreds (even thousands) of potential clients in minutes.
NOTE: Small business owner have a huge advantage over any big company out there: you are much closer to your customer and you can deliver your personal attention to each of them and thus make them feel special for being your clients. And this is one of the most effective ways to benefit from the word of mouth marketing.
With that huge advantage in mind, here are the best ways to use referral marketing to your advantage:
How to take advantage of Referral Marketing.
Focus on having a very good product or service.
If your product is not doing a good job at solving your clients’ needs, not only you will not gain any advantage from word of mouth, but you are going to even turn it against you. Because if a good testimonial can reach people in minutes, a bad one will only need a fraction of a second!
Make it personal.
Get to know your clients, remember their names and purchasing habits, start a conversation with them and know more about their status and their desires, greet them like you would greet an old dear friend – all this will make them feel welcome and special. And this type of feelings always leads people to share it with everyone they know.
Exceed their expectations.
If you want to really achieve stellar business results fulfilling your clients’ needs is not enough anymore. The market is full of small businesses just like yours that also do the same thing. So go the extra mile. Get creative, is anything you can add (even a little something) that would make their day extra special / make their life a little easier just because they bought something from you?
Have a process in place to manage clients concerns and unhappy clients.
This will give you two major things: you will always improve your products and services and you will also avoid bad testimonials that can do a lot of damage.
Proactively ask for testimonials and referrals.
Don’t wait for all the good testimonials to magically come to you. People are busy and they have other things on their minds so even if they were very happy with their purchasing experience from you, they won’t think to send you their testimonial unless you ask. So don’t be afraid of asking. If you did a good job and they are happy clients, they will be willing to help you.
Make it easy for people to spread the word.
You can start by simply asking questions that make it easy for them to fill in a nice testimonial (like “What feature of the product have you enjoyed the most and why?”).
Make effectively use of testimonials.
Now that you have all those great and compelling testimonials, use them! Feature them strategically on your website (your Home page, your About page, any sales page / opt-in page) and also share them on social media. Remember: 64% of consumers make an online research before deciding to buy, so that is a very good reason to get persuasive in every way you can.
Personally thank & reward those who refer your business.
Great programs like MyLeadPod make it easy to reward people who refer your business. The internal messaging allows you to thank and educate people who refer work to you.
Get started today.
MyLeadPod is a professional reward program for businesses to send and receive leads Download the automated app and easily send, receive and reward from one easy to use app. Set your own reward $ amounts and only pay when a referral becomes a customer.
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This blog is based on an article by Olivia Angelescu – https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/referral-marketing-grow-small-business/