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20 October 2022

How to Ask for Referrals (Tips & Best Practices)

3 minute read

Ensure your business reputation shines with these simple referral tips

Happy customers are your secret weapon

An easy way to attract more business is through customer referrals. Referrals are a minimal effort, low-cost marketing tactic with beneficial results. Referrals start with a higher point of trust, enabling a faster sales process, fewer objections and often lead to larger sales.

However many tradespeople are unsure how to ask for referrals after a job. You may be concerned about seeming pushy, or you simply don’t want a customer to feel like they’re a marketing tool.

However, landing a successful referral doesn’t need to be so scary. One of the most important marketing tactics is through word of mouth, so adopting a referral marketing strategy is hugely beneficial. Especially within the trades where you’re providing customers a service. With a solid game plan, you will find most are more than willing to support. Don’t overthink it, simply follow the steps below:

1. Identify your target

The ideal customers to target are those who know the value in what you provide, so narrow your audience and target people who are most likely to take action.

2. Personalisation

If you are making requests via email or text, tie your request into an existing message that your customer finds valuable. Lead with thoughtful, curated copy that shows how much you value their business. If you keep this in mind, you’ll quickly learn the basics of how to ask for referrals in an email.

3. Ask at the right time

Even if the experience was exceptional, as time goes by customers aren’t as excited about your interaction, so catch your referral sources immediately. Ask for a referral right after a job is complete. You’re more likely to get traction whilst still fresh in their memory.

man at the computer

Ways to increase referrals

While handpicking customers and requesting referrals will get you great results, you don’t want to miss any other opportunities. Your biggest advocates are not the only ones to consider, so here are a few ideas to explore:

1. Set up a referral program

By providing a small incentive for any new referrals even your most passive customers are more likely to take action.

When finalising the program, set up a dedicated landing page. This will not only help you direct customers to more information, but it can also attract referrers who are browsing your site or even searching on Google.

2. Partner with an organisation

Networking with relevant organisations in your area is a great ‘one-to-many’ strategy. Consider professional associations, leadership programs, or even social meetups - any group that sits in your target audience to better understand how to ask for referrals.

When you develop a relationship, you become the ‘go-to’ suggestion when services are in need, gaining you access to a new pool of connections - plus partnering with the association gives you immediate credibility.

3. Collaborate with other professionals

Similar to partnering with organisations, collaborating with other professionals can help you add to your customer base. Building a relationship with brands that have similar (but not overlapping) services can help you get a consistent flow of referred customers.

You may find this type of partnership between electricians and plumbers, surveyors and engineers, and more. Link to each other’s websites or even consider a “partners” page.

4. Automate referral requests

Automation can save you time and effort asking for referrals. Using a product like Podium, Australia’s leading text messaging platform for trades, gives you the ability to send curated, personalised referral requests via text.

It will also help with capturing leads, collecting payments, driving Google reviews and more.

Podium and simPRO integrate together to help businesses automate and capture more online reviews, enabling you to be seen on Google and grow your business.

Get more connected to your customers - all through the power of two-way text.

Find out more about how Podium integrates with simPRO here.

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