With the popularity of websites such as Zomato, TripAdvisor and Product Review there’s no doubt that consumers these days are taking a lot of stock in other people’s opinions and recommendations.
- Research shows 90% of consumers search for reviews before using a product or service.
- Word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of marketing, trusted by 84% of consumers, .
- A consumer is up to 50 times more likely to buy a product if it is recommended by close friends or family.
So, one of the best walking and talking advocates and advertisements you can have for your business are all of your satisfied clients and everyone they tell about you. Here are four rules to follow to drum up referral business.
Rule #1: Give them reason to refer you.
If a client is going to refer you to their family, friends and associates you will need to give them full confidence in their endorsement of you.
Build this confidence by working hard to disprove vendors’ common held top three pet peeves with agents. Deliver exceptional customer service through sharing data and knowledge transparently, keep clients in the loop throughout the entire buying/selling process and follow through efficiently on all promises.
If something does go wrong apologise, respond quickly and work hard to resolve the issue keeping the client informed every step of the way. This will go a long way to proving your dedication to customer satisfaction and increase their willingness to recommend you to others.
Rule #2: Ask and remind at the right time.
When it comes to building up a strong referral business you need to be proactive and persistent with requesting referrals.
The best moment to ask for referrals is any time you deliver excellent service or you exceed a client’s expectations, as they’ll be more receptive and open to helping you.
For example, ask for referrals from sellers just before the home sale goes through while you’re still actively engaged with them and they’ll be at their most enthusiastic and positive about the experience.
Delight clients by sending a simple housewarming gift after they move in to their new home with a card thanking them for their business and requesting referral business if they know anyone in need of your services.
You also need to regularly follow up with past clients as they may not have known anyone when you worked with them in need of an agent, but it’s more than likely they will a few months or years down the track.
Rule #3: Make it super easy.
Make sending you a referral for present and future clients as simple and easy as possible, otherwise even your most satisfied clients won't be bothered.
Start by creating a template on your website for clients to fill out and submit their testimonials to you with the capability to share it out on their social networks.
Leave a couple of business cards and fridge magnets with your clients for them to pass on to others who may need your service in the future.
Have a downloadable ‘What do I do?’ PDF on your website outlining your specialties and the reasons why people should work with you that people can easily pass along.
Link to your Premier Agent showcase in your email signature so that current clients can see examples of other reviews to get ideas for how they can also go about describing their positive experiences with you to others.
Rule #4: Show appreciation to referrers.
Showing appreciation for customer reviews and referrals is key to getting your referral business to snowball.
A savvy roundabout way to get clients into a referral mindset for yourself is if you know they run a business of their own to send a referral their way. They will surely appreciate the gesture and be likely to reciprocate.
A simple thank you card or phone call is good to aim for per referral to acknowledge and reward the referrer. If you have one specifically loyal client that sends you several referrals over the years you may want to show your gratitude with a small gift.
For more advice on how to ask for referrals look at these example scripts as a guide for what to say and when to say it.
The Homely Team
Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Doreen real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.
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