Sometimes business owners ask me what is the best incentive to get referrals from their clients. There are several ways you could incentivize your client base to encourage them to share referrals and find new clients. However, I’m not sure that is necessary.
I don’t think you actually need to give an incentive in order for happy clients to give you referrals. I believe that deep down in their hearts, they want to give you referrals. This is especially true if they’ve gotten good value from you and if they feel you’ve taken great care of them.
However, I do recommend putting something in the policies and procedures section of your welcome packet about referrals. You can add language that talks about how you will be asking them if they know anyone who could benefit from working with you as they have. Doing this gives clients a heads up, so they know you are going to ask for referrals to find clients and they will expect it.
One of the things you want to start thinking about is to continually be on their radar screen. Even when you are done working with them, stay top-of-mind with your clients. When you continually wow your clients, surprise them, delight them and make them feel significant, they will love you. They will want to share their excitement and positive feelings with others so they too can experience working with you.
Think about it for a moment: don’t you love to feel significant? When someone makes you feel this way, what is your immediate reaction? I bet you wonder how you could help that person or make them feel good too.
Naturally, one thing you want to make sure you do is acknowledge clients for their referrals. Thank you cards are always a warm and personal way to reach out and let someone know how much you appreciated their connections to find clients. In addition, this satisfies many people’s curiosity – they like to know what happened as a result of your connecting with their contacts.
Happy clients are by far the very best way to find new clients. Word of mouth and referrals are the absolute strongest method for building your business. Not only that, but it usually is a no-cost marketing method to fill your pipeline. Even if you do provide some sort of token or gift, the cost is usually minimal.
Do you have a plan to “wow” your clients? What ways do you go above and beyond when it comes to service and making your clients feel important? If this is something you haven’t developed yet for your practice, it’s time to get started now. Remember, happy clients who feel appreciated are the ones that often give the most referrals.