Most business people, outside of top sales professionals, feel odd in asking for referrals. We all know that word-of-mouth marketing is the most cost-effective means of attracting ideal clientele. Having your clientele recommend your services on their own initiative is always welcomed, but calling them up and directly asking them for names isn’t something most people have ever feel comfortable with.

I believe that there are many ways to generate more referrals as a part of your marketing efforts without having to sound pushy or appear desperate. The truth of the matter is that people like to refer others to a great find, service or product. Referring gives them status as well as the satisfaction of helping their friends and family discover the same benefits that they have enjoyed. Referring really is about the joy of sharing. And in turn, you and I too trust referrals and appreciate them as a way of finding better services and products without having to miss out or purchase something not as valuable.

Instigate Referrals With These Three Simple & Effective Means

Referral Marketing Method #1 – A powerful way in generating more referrals is by creating a educational webinar on a subject matter that helps your target public solve a problem. I recommend that you keep your webinar to 20-30 minutes in length. This can be done with Google+ Hangouts.

It is important to email your existing clients well in advance a quick summary about your webinar, the problems it helps to solves and who should attend. Be sure to include in your email a link to register and then simply request that if they wouldn’t mind “forwarding” the email to any of their contacts that they feel could benefit from the same knowledge and insight.

By doing your webinar right, by sharing a needed message and solving the right problem, do not be surprised if you get 10 to 100 new prospects registering for your webinar.

A webinar format is simple: Introduce who you are, discuss what problem you are going to solve and who the webinar is for and then start educating. Resist the urge to talk about you, your company or why prospects should purchase from you. Your webinar should not be a glorified sales pitch. It is an effective method to attract new referrals by positioning you as a trusted, knowledgeable advisor. This method will generate more referrals.

Referral Marketing Method #2 – Another effective means of generating referrals is to distribute the successes and joys that people have with your company. By asking your satisfied clientele to share these successes on Facebook, Google+ and their other social media channels, you are generating effective word-of-mouth marketing. The most opportune time to request this is when the person is at your place of business and is expressing their satisfaction. Simply ask, “Would you mind telling your friends that (their success) on Facebook?” By doing so, you will find you are now generating more referrals.

If your any of your clientele like to blog, ask them if they would not mind writing a blog post about your business, giving you a link to your website within their blog post and then sharing sharing their post across their own social media channels. Bloggers are always looking for ideas on what to write about, so inspire them to do so with a story about your company or one of your new products. This approach will generate for you more referrals.

Referral Marketing Method #3 – Acknowledge your referral source above and beyond what they would ever expect. Do so in a tasteful and legal manner. By acknowledging people, you inspire them to do more of the same. It is a standing rule that 80% of your referrals come from 20% of your clientele base. In other words, a handful of your clientele are quite active in generating most of your referrals.

You want to not only reward them personally, in a way that goes beyond what they expected, but it is also key to acknowledge them publicly. Some offices, firms and clinics have “Patient/Client of The Month” for the one that referred the most people. Some will email their list, thanking all those customers that referred that week or month. Why not post a thanks on your company Facebook page and to your other social media channels? Give back and let others know in the community who these special people are and what they do for a living. You may be referring them back some business as well through your positive messaging.

Here is a great video that clearly demonstrates the power and benefits of word-of-mouth marketing.

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