There are many different types of referral programs. It can be dependent on the type or age of a business as to which referral program may have the best results for a company. The types of referrals a business has can also be traced back to their origin.
Where Referrals Come From
Referrals can come from many different people or places.
- Internal – Internal referrals come from within your business or organization. Employee referrals are a great source of internal referrals.
- Professional – Professional referrals come from your company’s accountants, solicitors and other professionals associated with your business.
- Network – Network referrals can come from individuals or other company’s clients for whom your products or services are relevant.
- Online – Online referrals can come from one or several of many available places where a business can be shared on the web. Social networks, LinkedIn, website marketing efforts and search engines can bring in online referrals to your business.
- Existing Clients or Customers – When an existing customer shares how great your company is with their friends and family, it can bring you this type of referral.
- Marketing and Public Relations – Various media opportunities can bring referrals to your business. Press releases or publications, seminars, educational meetings and other media opportunities can direct referrals your way.
- Targeted – Targeted referrals come from focused planning or hot topics relevant to your business.
Knowing the types of referrals can be half of the battle when it comes to how best to organize your referral programs.
How Referrals Arrive
Referrals will arrive at different levels of readiness. While some will only provide barebones information, and a possible lead, others will arrive ready and willing to give your products and services a shot.
Name and Contact Information Only – Many referrals will arrive that include only an individual’s name and contact details. These types of referrals are best turned over to your most successful recruiters.
Biographical, Background and Company Information - Those referrals that come in with a person’s background reflecting relevance to your products or services, as well as location and their company information are better than the name and contact referrals in the sense that this individual may already have a relevant tie to what you have to offer.
Authorized Names – Authorized names are most commonly when an individual has made a name for themselves and has given you permission to use their name in relation to your products or services. This is also a great referral in the sense that this individual has the power to create even more recognition for your offerings.
Willing to Buy – The best type of referral is one that comes ready to purchase your products or services. This individual has already been impressed by your sales team or recruits and is only waiting for you to contact them to make their first purchase.
Regardless of the type of referral that comes in to your business, be prepared to nurture these relationships as they become a more vital element of your business as it continues to grow.
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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