Referrals are arguably the best form of advertising. Gaining business through word of mouth offers a variety of benefits that you couldn’t pay for if you wanted to. The prospect of breaking into a large group of potential customers without spending a penny can be very appealing to small business owners who spend countless dollars and hours working on other forms of advertisement.
Studies by the SBA have shown that nearly 85 percent of small businesses get new customers through referrals. That makes working to generate referrals extremely important since they could potentially be the most valuable part of sustaining your business. Listed below are a few pointers on how you can get the most word-of-mouth business possible.
- Be 100 percent honest all the time. Lying to customers just to make a sale will likely cost you future business. Not only will that customer you sold to probably be unwilling to come back, he or she will likely steer other people away from your business.
- Focus on solving a consumer issue via your product or service rather than making money. You just may develop a loyal customer base that builds on itself by focusing on providing the best product or service you can while thinking of money second.
- This may be more impractical for larger companies to utilize, but smaller businesses that spend a little extra time to send a thank-you note in the mail see a huge amount of repeat and referred customers.
- Under promise and over deliver. Promise that you’ll finish a project in a week, and then finish in exactly a week and you’ll have a happy customer. Promise to finish in a week and finish in four days and you’ll have a repeat customer anxious to refer his friends to you.
- The simplest way to get a referral is to ask for them, especially if you have direct contact with your customers. It’s harder to say no to your face or over the phone. Seriously, just ask and you will receive, probably.
The key is to keep in mind that everybody loves to be that person who discovered the awesome business that does that cool thing, and then tell all their friends. Whether it’s honesty, thank-you cards, awesome product/service or a quick finish, find a way to make a customer a little bit happier than they expected.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C. – New Jersey business lawyers