We all like simple. In an era where we can order just about anything with the touch of button on our smartphone, we have become more and more accustomed to easy.
Remember when we used to have to call to order a taxi? And wait on hold for minutes, and then wait outside your pick-up location for an indefinite amount of time? Now we just tap a button and our taxi calls us when it’s time to go.
That’s the kind of simplicity we’re used to. And we need to operate under this way of thinking whenever we want people to do something for us. If it’s not easy, they just won’t do it.
A perfect example is asking your clients for referrals. If you are asking them to work, to put in extra time and effort, most of them just don’t get around to doing it. But, if you do the work for them and make it dead simple, they’ll be much more likely to advocate for you.
How exactly do you make the referral process easy for your clients? Ask them to do the least amount of work possible. Here are three examples:
Give your clients pre-made scripts for referrals.
Create scripts or sample messages that your clients can copy and paste in an email to their network, or post on their social media accounts. Do the work for them. For example, write three different versions of a referral email that your clients can use, in different voices so they can choose the one that works best for them. Include a link to your site and any other relevant information you want these referrals to have.
Not only does this make your clients’ lives much easier, you also have full control over this first communication with a potential lead. You know how to sell yourself, and now you have the opportunity to sell yourself to your clients’ networks.
Host bring-a-friend events
Everyone is busy, so if you’re asking your clients to give up some of their free time, you have to make it worth it. If you host an event with free food and drinks, and allow your clients to bring their friends, it suddenly doesn’t feel like work. It feels like hanging out with some old pals and drinking free alcohol.
What’s in it for you? All these clients’ friends are leads. You’re bringing your clients’ referrals straight to you and creating an opportunity for you to meet them face-to-face, skipping the email introductions that can last for weeks. And your clients don’t feel like they had to work to bring you referrals. They just showed up to a free party.
Let your clients write branded postcards to their friends
Design some postcards with your agency logo and contact information and put them on your front desk. Make sure the design is not a 100% sales pitch – you want the recipient to know it’s from your agency, but you also want the design to be appealing and interesting. If the recipient thinks it’s just another unsolicited sales postcard, they’ll toss it.
Then, let your clients fill out these postcards, and tell them you’ll stamp it and mail it to their friends.
You could make this a strict “refer a friend” postcard or make it more fun and let your clients write whatever they want (and you’ll send it on your dime).
Either way, you’re getting your name and branding in front of potential customers in an unexpected way. And, it could be a fun thing to tell clients waiting for a meeting: “Sorry for the delay, would you like to mail someone a postcard for free in the meantime?”
Next Steps & Conclusion
Make the referral process as simple as possible to ensure success. People are busy, and even if your clients love working with you and say they will refer you, the fact is: we forget things. We get caught up. We just don’t get around to it.
So, create a referral process so easy they can’t say no.