Frequent Referral Programs
Once your clients know that you are expecting them to refer people as long as you have presented them great value, I believe in having a frequent referral program in place that will continue to increase referrals from clients.
When designing a program, remember that if clients aren't aware the program exists, then you may as well not have a program. So, be sure you make clients aware that you have such a program.
No matter what you decide as the reward items for such a program, the key is to follow the steps of:
1) Call the referrer and tell them how much you appreciate their confidence in you, and that you will be sure the person they referred receives great service.
2) Send them a thank you gift along with a note saying how much you appreciate the referral and that you consider them a very special friend of your business.
I use various gift programs and each has been effective. I use a ladder for this program where for the first referral the gift may be a $5 to $8 dollar (US) item, the next might be $8 to $10 dollars (US), and then the next would be a very personal gift based upon my knowledge of them.
Some examples of items I have used in the past are: acrylic clocks, calculators, notepads, business card holders, hot/cold thermos, emergency flashlight and car care kit. I always send a thank you note with the gift and have the gift inscribed to say, "With sincere thanks, Name of My Business".
Ways to communicate this program to clients is to include it in their welcome letter, include the program in your envelope with their invoice, and to post it in your office. I also have my clients complete a client data sheet letting them know that I do send referral gifts, and therefore, want to know their favorite hobbies, restaurants, sporting events, beverages to drink, etc.