A 2011 survey found that word of mouth recommendations from friends and family trump all forms of traditional paid advertising. To be specific, 92% of people who reported to the survey completely or somewhat trust recommendations from people they know.
Referrals from satisfied clients are your very best advertising, and they are absolutely free. Word-of-mouth referrals happen on their own. However, there are a few things you can do to move the process along and increase the amount of referrals to you. Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to maximize word-of-mouth advertising.
- Meet with neighbors around the job site before you begin a job. Letting them know you are in the neighborhood is the courteous and professional thing to do- especially if you will be making loud noises. They will likely appreciate being kept in the loop and having been thought of. There is a good chance one of them will remember you and your professionalism and pass your name on in the future.
- Start the referral process before you begin a job. Let your client know how important your reputation is to you. Once being told this, your client will probably pay more attention to the work you’re doing and be able to remember details later. Get permission from your client to ask for referrals at the end of the project if he or she thinks you did a good job.
- Ask your customer for referrals at the end of a project. This is also a good time to give your customer a few of your business cards.
- Follow up with former clients every few months. Check that they are still happy with the work you have done for them and to see if they need anything else. Ask if they know anyone who may need your services before finishing the conversation.
- When asking clients for referrals be specific about what types of referrals you’re looking for.
- Give your clients time to think it through. The more opportunities you give them, the more likely it is they will have someone in mind the next time you ask.
You can also:
*These options are not free, but may be worth considering.
- Offer a referral incentive. Whether you want to do this and what incentive you will give is entirely up to you. Consider whether what you’re offering is worth the return you will get.
- Give promotions or discounts for new customers. Again, you will need to consider whether or not your return will be worth doing this.
Never underestimate the impact referrals can have on your business. It will only take a little of your time to try and is well worth the effort!
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