How to start an avalanche of referrals
There is no better new customer than a referral from a happy customer.
But most businesses don't have a plan in place to generate referrals. They simply take them as they come without giving much thought to how they might be able to create a steady stream of referral business.
Before you can do that however, it's important to understand the following referral truth.
Satisfied customers do not send referrals in droves. The referral avalanche comes from clients and customers who are enthusiastic, inspired and awed from their experience with you.
Bottom line: Being good ain't good enough if you want tons of referrals. If you continue to simply meet your customer's expectations, your referral rate won't change.
So what can you do to have your customer rave about you?
Consider what one dentist did. He provides dental care to children. After attending a seminar on creative thinking, he identified a number of things he could do to tailor his practice to the needs of his patients.
Here are some of the things he did;
*He redesigned his office to provide maximum comfort to his target market. He lowered the reception staff into a pit behind the counter so they were at eye level with the patients.
*He hung giant photographs of each dentist and dental assistant along with descriptions of each person's hobbies and interests, so new patients could pick their dentists and assistants based on having something in common.
*He gave away free bicycles! Every patient got a "homecare follow-through Report Card" for his or her parents to fill out. If the Report Card came back to the dentist with all As, the child got the bicycle. (Imagine - there's little Johnny riding around the neighborhood on his new bike and people ask him who got it for him and he answers, "My dentist.")
*He called each new patient at home the evening after treatment to see how the patient was feeling."
*He called each parent the day after the the child's treatment.
*Each new patient left the office the first time with an autographed "8 x 10" glossy of his dentist and dental assistant.
The result of his creative thinking?
He multiplied his practice by ten in just one year without any increase in his advertising budget.