article from Distinctive Leadership
We know that referral business is the best form of business you can get. After all, someone has already done the hard sell for you. If a business can increase their referral activity by even a small percentage, the impact to the bottom line can be significant to business growth.
Referrals, Business Growth and Getting It Right.
With more than 90% of people now trusting peer recommendation rather than referral, it is imperative for business to ensure that they have got this part of their business operating smoothly.
With social media playing an increasingly important role in referrals and extending a person’s network far beyond what was capable even a couple of years ago, the word can spread like wildfire about a business on a global scale, not simply within a small friendship circle.
Referrals are something that many in business take very seriously. I for one will not refer a business or business person to my circle of influence unless I feel confident in both service and product.(KNOW< LIKE AND TRUST) It is incredibly important to me that even though I believe a product to be the best solution for someone I know, they must be looked after. The last thing I want to hear about is that their phone calls have not been returned, the service was terrible or that the people in the business did not know what they were talking about. This has happened to me and it makes you cringe and also makes you look bad in the eyes of your peer.
Business Growth Opportunity
Business owners should take referrals as the ultimate compliment and a signal that the referrer believes in their business. These referrals must be treated as top priority with the objective to encourage the new client to also be a fan of the business and refer others.
So What Should A Business Be Doing To Foster Referral Activity And Increase Business Growth?
1. Have a clearly defined client service proposition in place and deliver it 100% of the time.
2. Have systems and processes in place to support product and service delivery.
3. Have a process in place to handle the referral. What happens 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc?
4. Thank the referrer for the referral and assure them the referral will be looked after.
5. Always provide feedback to the referrer on progress. Do not let them find out any surprises.
6. Be open and transparent to both parties, especially if you can not deliver on the expectation. Do not muddle your way through something that will make you and the referral source look bad.
7. Under promise and over deliver. Create a WOW experience.
8. Have your referral app on hand.
Business Growth Strategy.
Handling a referral in the right way can be a significant brand building strategy that will assist you to attract the right clients to your business. People will do business with you if they know like and respect you. They will also do business with you if they feel valued and get great service.
The referrer has put their neck on the line for you. Do not let them down. If you do, you are also letting yourself and your business brand down and that is not the way to grow a business. It’s a great way to destroy it and damage your business growth!