If you have established your business, set up some marketing efforts and branded your company’s name, it may be time to prepare your business for referrals programs. Make sure you are prepared to get behind the effort before it is launched by keeping a few helpful and healthy tips in mind.
1. Offer Incredible Products and Service
While this element isn’t directly a part of your referrals programs, it is vital to have a product, along with superb customer service, before you spend additional time or money on other efforts. If your business isn’t quite up to par, use that capital to create an impressive trail of talk about your company before planning and executing referrals programs.
2. Get Your Employees Trained, Familiar and Talking About Your Referrals Programs
Make it official. Have a meeting with your employees and make sure they do not leave until they have full understanding of how the referrals programs work, what their part in the organization and execution of the plan will be and any rewards or benefits due to them for participation. If you are advertising the referrals program online, make sure your employees know the short URL or easy to remember address where they can send prospective consumers with ease.
3. Give Away ‘Thank You’ Rewards
Cultivating customers can be incredibly expensive. Between marketing, promotions and advertising cost expenses, the investments into generating businesses for your business can be quite overwhelming. These investments are always worth the time when you receive a customer who is ready, willing and able to purchase your products or services. So when you receive a ready and willing to buy consumer from a referral, make sure you reward whoever sent in the referral. That person just saved you a bundle of money.
‘Give Away‘ referrals programs can also be a part of a more extensive or detailed program for referral rewards, or they can be a stand-alone program on their own. If the program will be a stand-alone type of referrals system make sure that the reward option can be used repeatedly as well. This is a good time to use a discount or gift certificate type of reward system. Make it valuable to your current customer’s experience to refer others.
4. Supply Consumers with Reminder Rewards
Make sure your customers have something to remember you by. While business cards, consumable products and one-time discounts are likely to make consumers happy with your business, those things tend to fade from the memory once they have been taken advantage of, eaten, or used up. However, items such as memory sticks, bottle openers, key chains, useful tools and ongoing discount cards are objects that consumers will see frequently, or regularly, will have more lasting impact by keeping your businesses name or products on the consumers mind. This is far better than a set-it-and-forget-it method of marketing, and better on your bottom line.
Having robust referrals programs is a critical element of your business’s extended marketing campaign. Make sure your business is prepared before making the investment into new programs of any kind.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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