How robust is your system for generating referrals from your client database? Or do you just hope that your clients will recommend you?
Here are some steps to put a more formal process in place that will boost the number of high-quality leads you can generate from your client database.
Be the best
This sounds obvious but before you ask your clients for referrals you need check that you are providing them with the best client experience. They aren’t going to recommend you if they think you are providing a sloppy service! Consider what do you do to delight your clients? Is that something they appreciate?
We suggest running an annual client satisfaction survey to keep in touch with how clients are feeling and ensuring you act on any issues brought up.
Be clear about who your ideal client is
We speak to firms who get lots of referrals but not for the right kind of client. Don’t be afraid to let people know what your ideal client looks like.
For example telling people you are looking to work with “SMEs” is too general. Talk specifics about the company, such as the size, the sector they are in or where they are based. This will result in getting more targeted referrals.
Talk to your clients on a regular basis
Spend a bit of time drawing up a communication plan for clients who are most likely to recommend you, to ensure you regularly keep in touch with them. This doesn’t just mean a generic monthly newsletter, we are talking about a conversation or highly personalised email. Know what is going on in their world – in and out the office and check in with them about it. It might be that you need to add extra information into your CRM.
Introduce your clients
This referral business works both ways! Check your client list and see who might benefit from being introduced to each other. Do this on a regular basis and you will be amazed at how many people will return the favour.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Not all the time and this takes a bit of judgment on your part. However, if you have just finished a piece of work or project with them you could say “I love working on this kind of work, do you know anyone else that might need this service”