Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grow your Business with Referrals…without even asking!

One of the best ways you can grow your business is with a recommendation from a client you have already served. Many of us shy away from obtaining referrals. We believe it will be an uncomfortable interaction and could lead to rejection. Here are a couple of easy – and fun – ways to create a referral program without having to truly ask for a referral!

Transaction Based
Completion of a service is the perfect time to reach out for a referral. One option is to educate your guest that you have a new referral savings program. Staff member says, “If you loved the service you received today, we would love to share the news with your friends and family! As a thank you for your referral you will save 20% of your next visit and so will your friend”. Hand them a referral postcard card. They can simply fill it out and drop off in your salon or mail it back. There is no pressure on your staff or your client. You collect the referrals and contact them with their special offer. Another option is send postcard mailing directly to your client list with this same offer. Basing your referral request on a transaction by providing a percentage off or a free product with service will drive new customers and gives your loyal clients a bonus for helping you grow.

Host a Referral Sweepstakes contest in your business. You can tie it into your holiday promotions. From Oct 1st to Dec 20th hold a referral sweepstake giving away a free vacation to a sunny locale or a weekend at the spa. Have signage through out your business showcasing the contest. Each referral a client passes your way allows them another entry in the contest. Follow up with the referral name right away. They should receive a gift or discount for trying your services. Then draw the winner at the end of Dec. Feature the winner in your salon newsletter and promote it in the salon.

These are just two ideas to get you started. Although there are marketing and margin costs involved, not only will it drive new clients to your chairs, but it can also spur buzz about your business if you promote it correctly. Modify these ideas and make them your own. Please share your referral program idea or comments below. Create excitement and make referrals fun for all parties and watch your business grow!

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