By George Paul III
Branding Expert and Award-winning Designer
We want them, ask for them, but rarely get them when we really need it. What’s that? Referrals. We know referrals are the easiest way to get new clients because they come from a trusted source. However, to make this a recurring source of revenue we need to systematize it. Creating a referral/rewards program is one of the cheapest ways to gain new clients. To do so you have to follow four rules.
Make referring you as easy and stress-free as possible. It can be as simple as giving them extra business cards. One colleague of mine always hands a new contact two business cards. One for the person and one for them to give to a referral. People always know someone else who could use you, but can’t think of them on the spot. In my referral program I actually have specific cards for it, which makes rule #4 easier.
Reward your clients for referring you. Why shouldn’t you? They put their reputation on the line as much as you do. If you do a bad job, who is their friend going to scream at? Them! Thus, you have to reward them for instilling their confidence in you to another person. But, you don’t have to spend much. Give them a gift card to Starbucks, dinner on you, or choose something you know they’ll enjoy. Acknowledgement of their gift to you, is what is important. Provide that reward in a handwritten card. Few people take the time to write a personal note, which is why it works so well.
Offer a great deal. It doesn’t mean free. New clients have to pay something or they won’t see the value in it. But what they pay has to be so low, it’s a no-brainer. It works. I signed up for an SEO class because it was $20 when it was normally $297. I spend $20 on gummy candy, why not on something that could better my business? See, no-brainer. The value I got from the class was astronomical.
You may think you’re losing money on it, but you’re not because of three reasons:
- If you know your LCV (see this article), then you know you just acquired a new client for pennies on the dollar.
- Depending on your service or product you can up-sell them.
- This low barrier offer could add up to huge numbers in the long run. The guy who runs that SEO class has made well over $1 million dollars from it.
Tracking is where most people fail. How many referred you? How many have taken the offer? How many converted into regular clients? Answers to these questions indicate program success or where it needs adjustment. Create specific offers with materials for your program which makes them easier to track. The easier it is to track and reward, the easier it is to keep the cycle going.
If you follow these rules, you will have a system that drives in new revenue continually on its own. Until next time, I wish you much success in leveraging your brand to realize your dreams.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.