7 Ways to Grow Your Business with Referral Programs

Growing a business to the level of a successful corporation is not that easy, especially when your business is still in its baby stages. You simply have to know the best and most appropriate strategies out there for your business and niche.

Today, one of the most effective and convenient ways to grow your business is by starting b2c referral programs. There are numerous reasons why people—both businessmen and customers—love them, but here are the two reasons that top the list:

• Save time and money—with clients referring you to other prospective customers, you can save more time and money, which you can then use to find other sources of income or ways to grow your current business.

• Improve interaction—communication is always the key to long-lasting relationship. Via referral programs, you will be able to keep in touch with your clients and continuously nurture your relationship.

How to Grow your Business with Referral Programs

There is no doubt that a referral campaign can be a great tool for growing a business and boosting one’s bottom line. However, just because you start one does not immediately mean you are already set on your way to success. On the contrary, achieving success with referrals require serious thought, careful planning, and thorough follow-ups.

Here are seven tips you need to observe if you really want to grow your business with referral programs.

1. Create a Plan

How can you realize your goals when you do not have an aim in the first place? Before starting a referral marketing campaign, you have to create a plan. Your plan must include:

  • Goals (increased subscriber count, sales, etc.)
  • Target audiences
  • Possible rewards and incentives
    • Four specific examples of rewards and incentives that you can offer your clients in exchange for their referrals are:
      • “Refer a friend and get _______% off of your next product or service”.
      • A friend of a friend is someone we would like to know. If a friend of yours has computer problems earn valuable service credits simply by referring your friends, family members or business associates to ABC Network Consulting.”- Source
      • Enter each referral of yours and we will send them a special certificate for 10% off their first service visit. Once the certificate is redeemed we will issue a $100 service credit to your account. It’s that simple. Refer them before somebody else does. Thank you for your business and your vote of confidence. ABC Network Consulting.Source
      • Here at ABC Network Consulting, it PAYS to refer your friends, family, coworkers and colleagues! For each NEW ABC Network Consulting customer you refer, you will receive a $_____ credit toward your next submission“. Source
  • Timeline
  • Tracking tools

2. Under-Promise, Over-Deliver

What most people do not want is to hear empty promises and get something worse than their expectations. Never fall into such a pitfall. Always aim to promise less than what you can do and then give more than what people expect. That is certain to capture your customers’ hearts and will get them to share your business with everyone they know.

3. Say What You Want

Some people are shy in nature, but entrepreneurs who want to develop their businesses through referrals should never keep such a trait. Be social, and actually say what you want your customers to do. “If you are happy with our product/service, please recommend us to your family and friends! We will greatly appreciate it!” You can say something along those lines.

4. Show Your Appreciation

Referral programs can actually survive without you offering a sort of reward. Nonetheless, giving incentives will speed up the process and greatly encourage your existing clients to refer people they know, be it a family member, a close friend, or a simple acquaintance.

5. Build Networks 

Sometimes, we just have to remember that nothing will happen if we do not act first. That said, you should go out and connect with people and organizations that can give you referrals. You can build such networks both online and offline.

6. Offer an Exchange

People say that love is all about “give and take.” Personally, I think that also applies to referral businesses. If you want your referral campaign to get a head start, you can approach people or organizations related to your niche and offer an exchange. That is, they can recommend your business to their patrons, and you will do the same.

7. Track Your Progress 

Programs can only be successful and retain success if they are continuously tracked. That is exactly the reason why you have to consider the tracking tools you will use during the planning stage. As you track your campaign progress, you will be able to see where most of your referrals come from, what kinds of incentives bring the most actions, and so on. You can use all this information to adjust your campaign and get even greater results.

Referral programs can be the key to your business’ success. Why don’t you start one today? Follow the tips I shared with you here, and start growing your business faster!

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.

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