Referral Marketing Communications Plan — Tip #10: What NOT to Do

Referral Marketing Communications Plan Customer and ClerkNormally, I like to end on a positive note, so in this post, we’re going to look at the things you want to avoid… but we’ll look at them in as positives for your referral marketing communications plan. Work around these pitfalls, and you will save yourself time, aggravation, and money… and make more money in the process.

  1. Always, ALWAYS follow up. As soon as you get a referral, follow up immediately! Research the prospect, and get in touch right away and get them into the sales cycle. Not following up is like planting seeds and not watering them – they’ll never grow into productive plants. Never consider it, “too much work.” You’ll occasionally get rejections, but each rejection puts you closer to real sales.
  2. Make your process as automatic as possible. The more, “hands off” your referral process is, the more likely you and your staff are to actually use it – and profit from it. No matter how your referrals come into your business, make sure there are no bottlenecks in the process so they can get acted on right away – remember each day you delay acting on a referral is a day of lost business.
  3. Make your process as simple as possible. Every step in your referral process puts you one step further from a sale, so Keep It Simple! As you design your referral process, if there is a choice between simple and nifty – ALWAYS chose simple! Your referral program should make money for you, not cost you money.
  4. Make sure EVERYONE knows about your referral program. Don’t hide your referral program under a rock, or inaccessibly deep in your web site. Your customers won’t go looking for your program if they don’t know about it. ALWAYS promote referrals!
  5. Always be aware of changes in the market around you. As your business matures, you market changes and your customers change – it’s just good business to be responsive to changes in your market. This is also true for your referral program. If your market and your customers change and your referral program don’t, your business will suffer. Always adapt to changes in your market and watch your business grow.
  6. Always treat your referrals as the golden resource that they are. Like imitation, a recommendation is the sincerest form of flattery. If you do not treat the referred customer to your best service, it reflects badly on you, and also the friend who referred them. ALWAYS treat your referred customers like gold – they are. Of course, don’t neglect your regular customers, as they are just as important to your success as your referred customers.

In every step of running your business, always make it easy for people to do what you need them to do, and this includes your referral program.

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