5 Referral Tips for Ed Consultants


Companies around the world spend billions of dollars every year in marketing and advertising, trying to persuade new customers to buy their products or services in order to increase their sales. However, there is one area that companies often forget or don´t focus enough attention and resources in order to help increase their sales. REFERRALS.

Education agencies being part of the service sector, usually takes pride in the quality of the service that provides to their customers. And it's the thankful and raving customers, who often refer us a big portion of a new business.

There is a big difference in the cost and effort required to acquire a brand new customer versus a client referred to us from a current or former client.

Here are 5 sales referrals tips you could implement to help your agency increase your sales.

1. ASK: It has been researched, that if you provide great service, 91% of your clients will provide a referral, but only IF YOU ASK THEM. If you don´t ask, only 11% will refer your business. Make sure you have a system or strategy in place where you are often asking your customers for a referral. As long as you have a system in place this could be done by email, social media, phone, etc. The medium does not matter, what matters is you are doing it systematically.

How to do it?
Step One: Every time a client is dealing with you in person, through your sales staff, e-mail, phone, etc, politely ask them for referrals. Make sure you set the stage and tell your clients that you realize you enjoy doing business with them and that you would love to assist their friends, family and colleagues as well.

Tell them you’d like to extend to them the opportunity of referring their valued and trusted friends and family to you.

Step Two: Offer them to advise or meet with anyone important to them, so your client sees you as a valuable expert with whom they can put their friends and families in touch. If you do this every time you talk, write or visit a client, record it in a system.

2. ENGAGE YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS: Often what you consider to be your best customers, will also be your best client referrals. Make sure you are keeping track of your current and former clients and engaging in different conversations with them. CRM systems like Edvisor are excellent tools that will help you make this process and engagement easily.

3. GIVE THEM CREDIT: Make sure your referral system provides your clients with something in return for their referral. A thank you gift could be as simple as a movie ticket, a bottle of wine, or you can create a specific referral point system for different rewards.

4. ENDORSEMENTS: If you have former clients that want to promote you on a regular basis, try to negotiate an endorsement deal. When you get an endorsement from a former client, you eliminate all the steps of trust development that are necessary for acquiring a new customer in your marketplace. It is immediate and efficient, and the cost is fractional, but the results are faster and greater than it would otherwise be.

5. FOLLOW UP and MEASURE: Whatever referral strategy or system you want to implement, you want to make sure you are constantly following it up and measuring the results. Only when you follow up and measure, you can guarantee that is being executed properly and that you have positive results.

If you want more information about sales referrals you can visit the following the additional resources:

Link 1 - FORBES
http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/21/viral-marketing-referral-program-entrepreneurs-sales-marketing-wharton.html

Link 2- CMO
http://www.cmo.com/articles/2013/7/18/customer_retention.html