The Lowdown on Business Referral Systems

Successful Small Business OwnerSmall Business Trends and networking giant Verizon conducted a survey of small business owners in Philadelphia. Among the questions was about how businesses think customers are able to find them. The survey’s results were almost unanimous in this regard: 85 percent of businesses said that clients found them via word of mouth.

Now, what does this mean for every remaining business out there? While elaborate advertising and marketing ploys might still be effective, they’re nothing compared to actual referrals. But, before you go visiting small business networking firms, including BNI Australia, you must understand specific intricacies behind this concept.

It Requires You To Be “Referrable”

This is somewhat explanatory. To get customers to refer you to their friends and family, you must cultivate a solid reputation. Clients should always be satisfied with their purchases from you. Furthermore, the importance of a continuous business-customer relationship cannot be underestimated. As much as possible, do not sever ties with a client after a single transaction.

Never Underestimate the Power of Word of Mouth

If your closest friend told you “you should totally check out this new burger joint” because of its good selection of food, you’re likely to heed the advice. That’s the power of word of mouth when it comes to business.

Forbes contributor Kimberly Whitler considers this as the “original social media platform,” and rightfully so. Take a look at how social media works. When one trusted influencer shares an opinion on a specific matter, hundreds and even thousands of reactions will ensue. It’s largely the same thing with conventional word of mouth marketing. Based on this, it’s largely considered as the most valuable form of marketing; one that consumers tend to trust above all else.

Referrals MUST Be Managed

Like anything else, referrals can’t go unorganised. How you treat a specific referral determines whether its source would yield even more referrals. Developing a referral system makes referral management easier, keeping sources in the loop and opening more opportunities. There’s one important concept at play here: if a customer likes you, don’t let him keep the goods you offer to himself. Have him talk about your business among his peers, and it’s a win-win situation. You get more customers; his friends and family join in on the fun.