Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grow your business with Referrals!

One of the best ways you can grow your business is with a recommendation from a customer you have already served. Many of us shy away from obtaining referrals. We believe it will be an uncomfortable interaction and could lead to rejection. Here are a couple of easy – and fun – ways to create a referral program without having to truly ask for a referral!

Transaction Based
Completion of a service is the perfect time to reach out for a referral. One option is to educate your patient that you have a new referral savings program. Staff member says, “If you loved the service you received today, we would love to share the news with your friends and family! As a thank you for your referral you will save 20% of your next visit and so will your friend”. Hand them a referral postcard card. They can simply fill it out and drop off in at our location or mail it back. There is no pressure on your staff or your customer. You collect the referrals and contact them with their special offer. Another option is send postcard mailing directly to your client list with this same offer. Basing your referral request on a transaction by providing a percentage off or a free product with service will drive new customers and gives your loyal clients a bonus for helping you grow.

Host a Referral Sweepstakes contest in your business. You can tie it into any promotion. From Oct 1st to Dec 20th hold a referral sweepstakes giving away a free vacation to a sunny locale or a weekend at the spa. Have signage through out your business showcasing the contest. Each referral a customer passes your way allows them another entry in the contest. Follow up with the referral name right away. They should receive a gift or discount for trying your services. Then draw the winner at the end of Dec. Feature the winner in your business newsletter and promote them at your location.

Health Fair Participation
Being involved in your local community can help build your brand and create awareness of your business. Many places host local health fairs that help promote all kinds of health related items from increasing fitness, healthier foods, to various local doctors. Sign up and host a booth at one of these fairs. Give out information packets and offer a discount for new customers. These events create buzz and refer new business your way.

These are a few ideas to get you started. Modify these ideas and make them your own. Please share your own referral program idea or comments below. Create excitement and watch your business grow!