Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Good Clients Don't Always Give Referrals

Despite being delighted with your services and eager to share you with their friends, even good clients miss opportunities to give referrals. This is caused by entropy, inertia, and inconvenience. Basically, most clients will not inconvenience themselves to give a referral – they may postpone giving it, or forget it altogether.

Common reasons why referrals may fall through the cracks:

  • The client thought of another business provider to refer (“Let me think, I believe Tony’s sister is in that business…”)
  • The client had no easy way to pass contact information (“I don’t have her number on me. I’ll send it to you when I get home”)
  • The client forgets to give the referral
  • The referral-receiver lost or forgot about the referral
  • The referral-receiver has indefinitely postponed making the contact, due to lack of time or attention, or a change in their own schedule (“I’ll do it later when I’m not busy”)
  • The referral-receiver is too busy, too nervous, or misinformed to initiate contact
  • Another person gave the referral-receiver another contact before they had a chance to call the business person
  • The client had no incentive to give a referral

What is required to get a referral often ends up being a grand coincidence. For example - a friend asks for a referral AND the referral-giver happens to remember AND the referral-giver happens to have your business card on them. In this example, inconvenience wasn’t a problem. As soon as one of these factors is inhibited, the referral is lost.

Savvy independent business people know the value of referral business – most thrive on it. Even though customers are often delighted to give referrals, there are many that fall through the cracks because of the customer’s natural sense of avoiding inconvenience. By using Referral Marketing, marketers can improve their odds of gaining more referrals and encourage referral-giving behavior – resulting in more referral business and a better bottom line.

Contact me for more information about the program I use that allows you to "click it and forget it". Meaning, once you input your client’s information and the campaign you want them in, it will send your marketing piece to them, asking for referrals with a click of the mouse. It also sends birthdays, holidays, and their yearly review reminder for you. Allowing you more time to build your business.

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