Thursday, September 3, 2009


You have faith in what you offer, right? I mean, you provide a valuable service or product to your clients, agreed? So why then when it comes to asking for testimonials or referrals are we so shy and hesitant?

As a marketer, I am always trying to think of how my clients can stay connected with their customers. Even with a one-time purchaser, there are always referrals, testimonials or potential repeat business that could come from this client.

I therefore offer the following to help you kick start your own customer referral plan:

  • Create a check list of what you will do after the sale for each type of customer - this will make all of the steps easier to ensure you do it with each one.
  • Double check the accuracy and maintain a database of your client contact information - e-mail addresses, home phone, cell phone and full mailing address.
  • Always ask for a testimonial when the customer has either recently purchased or finished a project with you. This is the time they are most satisfied with your business.
  • Create a "win win" referral plan - that is - both the referring party and the new prospect both receive something (a gift certificate, discount on next purchase etc.). The goal is to make both parties feel good about what's-in-it-for-them. This also makes some referring parties more comfortable providing referrals and sharing info about your company.
  • Ask your customers to share thoughts about your business on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and review websites. Anything that continues to get the word out about your company in a positive light.
  • Keep in contact with current and past customers by using e-newsletters. This is a great way to stay in the mind of the client and also share the details of your referral program.

Remember that "warm leads" and clients that come from trusted sources tend to already have more confidence in your business. Now is the time to ensure your marketing plan has a line item for a managed customer referral program! If you need help pulling this together, please feel free to contact me.