Referrals can be one of the most powerful strategies for the growth of any business. If you think about it, the star rating system on Amazon and now most websites are nothing more than the front end of a referral strategy.
Here are four steps you may not have heard about before. They work like magic.
- The first piece of a potent referral is a raving fan customer experience. We don’t ever want to leave that to chance. Enroll and onboard your new customers with two end games in mind. One … a repeat customer. You want them so enthralled with your product that they expect to keep using it for life. Two, you want them so on fire about it; they will naturally tell their story to others. Given those two objectives, we want to take full responsibility for our new customers getting that over-the-top experience. Here is how you can do that:
- Before you finalize the sale, ask your new customer if they are willing to use your product exactly how it is intended for as long as it is intended to guarantee results. We often are so excited that someone is willing to buy that we hope or assume they will use the product as instructed. The reality is that most customers do not read the instructions or follow the protocol. If we ask for this commitment upfront, before we deliver the product … even as a contingency to delivering the product, we can create far more 5-star fans.
- Ask your customers upfront before they start if they would see themselves sharing their results IF the results are stunning. That might sound like, “Mary, if this program (or whatever it is) works as I have suggested, if you love, love, love the results, would you be open to sharing your experience with others?” They always say Yes. Now while they are using the product, the idea of sharing their results starts to take hold.
- Second, instead of asking your raving fan customer a question like “Whom do you know that you think would be interested?” ask for a very specific referral. For example, ask them whom they know that is in a specific occupation, preferably an occupation or sport, or hobby that lends itself to your product. The question is posed as “Mary, who do you know that plays tennis a lot? Or Mary, who do you know that is a chiropractor? Or Mary, who do you know that loves to hike?” By asking whom your customer knows that belongs to a category … a category that you can trust they do know people, you can always get a Yes answer to the question. You won't always get that when you ask whom they know that is interested because they don’t know yet.
- Third … Be the Messenger of the story. Don’t ask your customer to tell it. Ask them if you can tell it.
For example, “Mary, would it be Ok with you if I told Ben your story?” You won't always get a Yes to this, but most of the time, you will have far more referrals than if you rely on Mary to initiate the story. When you get a yes, get their contact information from Mary and tell Mary, “I promise I will connect with him.”
- Fourth ... With a Yes, you contact Ben yourself with this language.
Ben, Mary is a customer of mine … in fact, a Raving Five Star Fan of my product. She suggested I connect with you, and I PROMISED her I would. Can I tell you Mary’s story?”
The rest is all profit.