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Client Referral Magnet: One (1!) Simple Idea (A Case Study)

Aug 17, 2007
A few months ago, I freely recommended to a decent sized sales professional a tiny client referral strategy that had enormous potential. Obviously, generating referrals more consistently in your business is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can undertake. But the problem with client and customer referrals is they are often far too random and passive.

Most business professionals simply have no set referral system or strategy.

So the referral idea I brought to the table had to involve a way that would create repeated action, and do so in a consistent fashion. It also had to invoke cross efforts on behalf of the sales profession and the client who was on the giving end of the referral.

So let me cut to the chase. The referral system idea I revealed was simply this...

Create a referral club for your business.

Nothing terribly brilliant, but short and sweet and the key: it could be IMPLMENTED! At the heart of this strategy would need to be a way of creating a sense of exclusivity, belonging, specialness and loyalty to refer. All are key elements.

It would also need to encourage clients to provide you with, you guessed it: incentives to send you not just a lot of referrals, but more importantly, engage momentum. And *that* momentum would not always be directly caused by the client.

Let me get into the...


Clients are made members of a VIP club membership.

For example, in the above case, this sales professional created an appreciation dinner that was exclusive to club members and those friends and associates that were of similar client make-up.

He then partnered with a local business: a gift basket retailer, and had his assistant issue a referral rewards card at that dinner. When a client took their referral rewards "club card" to this business, they automatically received a 10 percent discount on any gift basket they purchased.

The gift basket merchant received a new customer. The client received a discounted product. And the sales professional is remembered at every step of the transaction, creating tangible word of mouth referral system.

These types of programs are nothing new. Credit card companies typically call them affinity programs. In this case, the sales professional told me he now generates 10 consistent referrals every month just from the VIP referral club he created. The word of mouth marketing is indeed alive and strong in his practice.

So, what are some other ideas on how to adopt such a referral program?

Send a special mailing, a special newsletter, or a discount travel offer.

You can do this and improve referral flow to you, all through using the combined power of leverage and partnering. And at the center this momentum is a true, tangible benefit for your clients.

Create a referral club!

Invite clients to that club. And reach out to like-minded businesses that can benefit from your ideal client profile.

Whatever type of club you decide on, just be sure it enhances your image and promotes ongoing dialogue with your clients. Remember: It has to be a two-way street.
About the Author
He concentrates on referral building strategies for today's professional. Get "The Most Powerful Referral 'Secret' Ever Discovered," instantly delivered at http://www.strategic-impact.com/Rule3
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