The "word of mouth" marketing method is considered to be the most efficient and successful way to get new customers. The method is called referral system and practically costs nothing if you can make use of it. Many of successful companies rely on the so called "gossiping" about their products or services and even reward people who do that for them thus bringing in more and more new clients.
It is important to not leave this referral system to chance, if you wish to manage an efficient referral program. Your current clients might have a lot of close friends, relatives or colleagues who may be interested in your products. When these people refer your business to others from a personal point of view and based on their own experience, the other people become the so-called warm prospects.
The most important thing for getting new clients is to provide a solution for any of their needs. If you already have clients, which are satisfied with doing business with you, you may ask them become your referrals. Setting a referral system like this is especially important for small businesses to grow faster.
Those who make use of such system, find that there are immediate advantages for their business, such as reduction of the marketing costs, increasing the number of prospects, which may soon convert into customers, higher profits and reduced costs. Since getting a single client takes a lot of efforts and time, business owners can make use of this already earned client by making him a part of their referral system.
In order to create an effective referral program, consider when the right time to ask your clients for referrals is. Make sure beforehand that they are completely satisfied and happy with your services and have trust in you and your products. It is easier to ask for referrals on a regular basis, if you constantly keep in touch with them.
Asking for referrals should not necessarily be in person, as people may not have enough time for this meeting. You may ask them by e-mail, skype, phone or direct mail. Some make use of a special survey with the goal of determining the customer satisfaction. They simply ask people to recommend them to their friends at the survey's end. Their answers can be used as testimonials in your business website.
In order to make your referral system work better, you can track the referrals. If the referrals that come form a particular client never convert into customers then you may delicately tell them more details they need to know when refer you to others. Or you might want to replace that person with another who will do a better work. You can regularly inform the clients of the results.
Offer an incentive to both your prospects and clients to motivate them to take a part in the referral system. The award for sending a referral could be a gift, a coupon or a free service, but it should be something that is valuable and the client is going to like. This will show them that you appreciate their efforts and will encourage them to bring in more clients.
If you are able to make this system to automatically work for you, you will have new leads every now and then that are going to expand your business.