USE HIGHRISE:
Find top professionals for your business needs.

Search for:

Unleashing the Power of Client Referrals

Referrals enable professionals to build out their book of business and meaningfully drive commerce, ultimately leading to increased profitability and opportunities for business growth. There is no question that the vast majority of business leaders love nothing more than receiving a high-level referral. According to the Harvard Business Review, the “major advantages of referral marketing programs as compared with traditional marketing programs include greater credibility of friend/family member recommendations over paid advertisements, access to new customers that traditional marketing programs may not reach, and better matching of referred customers’ needs to a good or service.” Taking this into account, the question lingers: “How do I build my referral program to unleash the power of referrals to meet and exceed business goals?” This article will focus on client referrals and provide a starting point for deeper conversations around how to develop referrals that drive business growth and development.

Be Customer-Centric
“Under promise and over-deliver” is a well-known axiom that all businesses should strive to live by with every client they encounter. Continually exceeding the expectations of your clients will lead to a deeper connection and create advocates that can grow into fantastic referral partners. Practically speaking, this means that businesses need to build a customer-centric experience that, according to Forbes, considers the following questions: “Are they proud and passionate about the company they do business with? If so, would they be willing to share their experiences with others? Do they have confidence in the company?” The ability to create clients that answer “Yes” to these questions is foundational to building a strong referral base. Forbes adds, “Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers” and “Customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a brand, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience.” Taking all of this into account, any company seeking referral success must be deeply invested in the customer experience.

Genuine Gratitude
How do you thank your clients for their business and continued loyalty? Sharing genuine gratitude with your clients is a great way to deepen goodwill and connectivity. It is also a wonderful way to check in and ensure things are going well. Forbes states, “the top reason customers switch brands is because they feel unappreciated.” Clients that feel appreciated are not only more likely to remain loyal clients, but they are also more likely to refer others to you. Thanking clients can be as simple as sending them a handwritten note or picking up the phone to check in with them, but it must be intentional, or it will get lost in the shuffle. Implementing a relationship management plan to ensure your clients receive a regular “thank you” is an easy first step in building gratitude into your business plan.

Just Ask
This might seem unnecessary to say, but building systems and structures where you consistently ask for referrals are one of the easiest ways to grow your referral pipeline. There are lots of options to consider when building your system for asking for referrals; a few to consider include: email templates, scripted phone call asks, face-to-face asks, and net promoter surveys. If you do not have a consistent plan in place for ensuring referral asks are occurring, now would be a great time to select and implement a strategy. While email templates may be more efficient, there is nothing that compares to a face-to-face ask for a referral. Learning how to skillfully work this into your client conversations on a regular basis will allow you to find new potential business opportunities in places you may have never considered.

This article is only the start of a conversation on unleashing the power of client referrals for your business. It can be overwhelming to think through all of the steps necessary to grow your referral pipeline, but like so many things, the most important aspect is to take some first steps and build upon them.

Kim Derry

Kim Derry

OTHER READS

Stay Connected

More Updates

Lead Yourself Well

The ability to lead yourself is a critical and foundational skill. Learn more about tips on fitting leadership of yourself into your life, including reading, a 360 degree evaluation, and cultivating your personal Board of Advisors.

Read More »