How to Build a Business Referral Program

By Lanee' Blunt

Referral programs are effective because they are a way to get the word out about your business and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get them. Business referrals are important to your company’s survival. Referral programs are a way to get new customers’ and keep current ones coming back for repeat business. Businesses need to create a referral program that is reliable and that they can use again and again.

Customer Referrals
The best referrals come from your customers’. Make sure that you offer them quality service, that you are easy to contact, and that you provide more value than they expect. Your customers’ will tell their friends or family about you. For example, they’ll say I have a good accountant that does excellent work. Let me give you his number. Another way to get referrals is to ask customers’ for three of their friend’s phone numbers.

Reward Program
A reward program is beneficial for getting referrals. Make sure that your reward program is contingent on the purchase of your product or service. For example, offer your customer $50.00 when their friend orders from you. Offer customers’ cash bonuses or a rebate when they give you a referral. Don’t make your reward program too complicated where people won’t understand it. For example, the friend has to buy two purchases and each item must be bought at a specific ticket price before they can receive the $100 referral fee.

An incentive is an effective way to get referrals. Incentives can be something small like a decorative shell shadow-box nightlight, or two concert tickets. You can give the gift to customers’ that provide you with a business referral. Make sure that you find the right incentive for your business and it’s something that they might want, by asking questions to your customers’ and asking their opinions on things that they like. For example, if they provide you with a referral you’ll give them a free toaster or a tool set.

Business Letters
Write a business letter to your customers and ask for a referral. State in the letter that you would like for them to give you a referral of three of their friends then, you can offer to give them a special discount on their next purchase if their friend buys from you. After you receive the referral then, write a letter introducing yourself, for example, tell them that you were referred by their friend and tell them about your service.

More Business: How to Build the Best Referral Program: Create an Effective Referral Program

Entrepreneur; Referral Incentives: The Gift of Giving, Ivan Misner; 2002

USA Today: Tightrope: Getting the Word Out About Your Business; Gladys Edmunds


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