When you are working to build a business the quickest way to gaining traction is through customer referrals. That said, with certain customers, asking for referrals can be difficult, if not downright awkward. Lucky for all of us, there are four different ways of getting people to refer your business and you can choose what works for you!
1. Direct Referrals: This is your traditional customer referral program. Remember that a good direct referral program is one that is a WIN-WIN for both you and your customer. Be sure that there's an incentive/reward for your guest when they refer as well as some sort of discount/reward for the new guests first time visit.
2. Implied Referrals: This is where you want to make your work obvious to the community without necessarily promoting a service. For example, implied referrals would be to post before and after pictures on your social media. It could also be to sponsor a community event or charity function. Customers are able to see your work or business name without you necessarily asking for business.
3. Tangible Referrals: This is putting something of ‘value’ into the hands of your customer. For example, each year you may select the top 10% of your customers, give them two gift card/certificates worth $25, $50 or more and let them know that it is your gift to them to say thank you for being a client. Then you can share that the other gift card/certificate is for your client to give to a friend, as a gift, so that their friend can receive a free service as a token of their appreciation. Another example is a service give-away. For example, if you are looking to grow hair color sales then perhaps you could offer a complimentary hair cut with the purchase of a new color service. The options are limitless, get creative.
4. Community Referrals: Partnering with community organizations to provide your services not only builds your business but it builds a sense of pride and an opportunity to give back. Working with a women’s shelter providing services for women and their children, or perhaps being involved with local community colleges and their back to work programs. Providing makeovers to men and women who are interviewing for jobs not only makes them look and feel good, but when they get that job, who do you think they’ll come to for their next haircut
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