It’s true; many businesses today are working harder to build ‘brand ambassadors’. These ‘brand ambassadors’ are responsible for a large percentage of their business.
However it could be fair to say that a large percentage of your referrals may not actually work in your favour.
A few years ago I had opportunity to discuss this exact issue with a client, a carpet retailer. He was amazed as to the number of prospects who called in or phoned asking for a quote because his business had installed carpet in a friends place and did such a great job. The kicker here, his business in many cases did not sell or install the carpet referred to. This was a referral that went astray.
His take on the issue was simple, “People know us, and assume that we are the business their friend is speaking about.”
There are only three reasons why a referral will work fully for your business:
- The person giving the referral is credible
We all have that friend, who knows everyone, has been everywhere and has a best tip to pass on. Unfortunately this person may not actually be the strongest ‘brand ambassador’ for your business. They do not have the credibility that you need in an ambassador.
- The person receiving the referral has a genuine need for the referral
Referrals need to be timely; if the receiver does not have a need for the referral then the referral falls on deaf ears.
- The business being referred is known and the receiver understand what the business can do for them
A referral works best when the receiver already has been confronted by the business being referred. That way they already know the business, understands the business and NOW they have a genuine reason to use the business, because it has been referred to them as a trustworthy great business.
Pondering on this for a while and we see clearly the way to ensure 100% of referrals work for your business.
If the referral works best if the business being referred is known and understood, then we need to ensure we all build a public profile for your business. This will include ensuring our digital and bricks and mortar profiles reflect the quality of the expected referrals.
Is our digital footprint solid and professional, easy to navigate and understand? Our website, Facebook, Google profile and any social media profile is up-to-date and looking fresh.
Our showroom, signage and vehicles all reflect the quality of our business. It’s important we invest back into the business, since we have reduced our advertising because of the referral stream.
The final step in ensuring our referrals work 100% of the time for us is to ensure we maintain a level of marketing awareness with the potential audience of customers. This marketing awareness should be aimed at your wider audience, and not just our customers.
The key goals of this marketing awareness campaign/strategy:
- Build our brand awareness within the market.
- Lay the foundation for the market to understand what we do, why people should deal with us, and how they can access our products/services.
- Convert potential customers to actual customers.
In summary, referral business is essential and can be the No. 1 revenue stream for a business. However to maximise the effectiveness of this revenue stream it is important to ensure when a referral is given, the person receiving the referral has already an awareness of our business, what we do, why they should deal with us and how they can access our product and services. By building our brand awareness in the market we ensure that all referrals work to the fullest we maximise the return from our ‘brand ambassadors’.
To find out how you can build and maximise the return from your ‘brand ambassadors’ speak to Solution Based Marketing.