A proven technique to getting customers engaged in participating in your customer referral program is to write a letter that is mailed to the customer. There are a few basics that should always be included in the letter, a thank you for their business, a request for customer referrals, and any benefits that they may receive for sending over business referrals. Each business may need to include additional information in their request letter to customers for business leads; however those should be the core to any letter going out from your business to clients asking for support. If the letter is being sent through email instead of traditional mail service, include links that can be forwarded to potential customers as well as links to your social media channels.
Timing and Personalization
The best time to send a request to a new or existing customer asking for business referrals should be within a short time frame from a previous interaction whether it’s the sale of a new product or service to a new client or a routine check up with an existing customer. This gives you the opportunity to thank them for their choice in your company for their needs. Make sure the letters are personalized and reference in the “Thank you” exactly what the customer purchased from you. It is important that customers feel special and important versus just receiving a common form letter, which is why I prefer traditional mail for these types of interactions that have a real signature at the bottom and are distinguishable from the dozens to hundreds of emails people get each day. Obviously if you’re sending out hundreds of request letters to customers, email is the only way to go, but if your business deals in high end goods or expensive services take the time to send a professional and formal “Thank you” when you are requesting new business leads.
Asking for Referrals
You have to ask for the business leads. Most people will assume that your business is doing just fine and not think to send a referral your way even if they know of one because it’s not at the forefront of their mind. Asking for new business leads doesn’t show weakness if you present the request in the correct manner. The idea you want to convey is, “we appreciate your business and enjoy working with individuals like yourself, if you know of others that would be interested in our product or service, we would appreciate your business referrals and have a great reward program for clients that send us quality customer leads.” Make sure to include the right details in the letter for how to send over a business lead whether it’s an email or phone number to a specific individual; provide the contact information and a call to action.
Outline the Referral Program
Outline the referral program in the letter whether it’s a straight referral fee that will be provided or gift cards to special restaurants, or other benefits such as discounts on future products or services. Know your audience. While a future discount may be great for someone when they make a referral to your business if you are working with another business owner, a sales or marketing guy for another company may really prefer to get rewarded with a nice dinner or night out on the town for sending over a high value lead. You don’t always have to have a reward in your request for a customer referral, but if you want to really get people excited about sharing your business to others it’s best to have some kind of incentive.
Personalize your request for customer referrals, include a call to action with the details the person needs to send the lead over and make sure to be very clear on the rewards available for customers that provide referrals.
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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