Building a “Referrals Culture” in Your Business – 3 Key Drivers

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Every business wants to build a culture that attracts the best clients, employees and providers. Let’s focus today one one component – building culture that attracts the best clients or customers (depending how you define them for your business).

Let’s call that a “Referrals” culture – a culture where:

1. Employees/staff are continuously referring your ideal clients/customers
2. Your clients are continuously referring other ideal clients
3. Your phone is ringing “off the hook” and your email/website is “blowing up” with ideal clients trying to connect with you to do business!

Here are 3 key drivers that can make that happen:

1. Deliver on your value proposition and client experience – This is all about defining:

a. Vision – How would describe your vision on this? Ritz Carleton premium experience? Something else?
b. Goals – What outcomes should every client expect from the experience with your organization?
c. Roles – who does what in your business to accomplish that?
d. Processes – what business processes need to be in place to deliver on your value and experience?

Our most recent blog has more on this “customer satisfaction” element.

2. Train everyone to refer others – This is all about making sure everyone knows “why” they should refer others and “how” to do it. This applies to employees, clients, providers, and personal networks – really anyone who touches your business. The keys here are:

a. Make sure everyone understands the big picture – what unique problem your deliverable solves and how it really helps people and/or organizations. Who doesn’t want to help?
b. What’s in it for them to refer others – the radio station everyone listens to – WIIFM (what’s in it for me)! How do they benefit from a growing business with growing resources? Any financial incentives?
c. Playbooks – is there a system on “how to ask” and is it demonstrated, observed and confirmed by leaders?
d. Are results reinforced through recognition, etc.?

3. Automate – create predictability to combat human nature! Face it – it can be hard and awkward for anyone to ask for referrals – even with training, skills and a great value proposition delivering a strong client experience. These are all essential – but traction comes from keeping referrals in front of everyone all the time. Some ways to do that?

a. On all communications – include something like – “don’t keep me a secret”
b. Have signage around office or store – such as “Don’t keep us a secret – ask us how you can help out a friend” or “Referring others helps them and puts $ in your pocket – learn how”
c. Use social media to post valuable and relevant content to your target audience with a link back to your website.
d. Use simple marketing automation that does the asking for you – better and more consistently than we could do just by ourselves!

Like anything else where you want to get results, building a referrals culture requires focus, the best tools and some practice. The reward of ideal clients chasing you makes it well worth it!

To your growth and success!

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