In the business of personal health care service, “word-of-mouth” marketing is the most valuable (& cheapest!) form of getting great new clients.
Most practitioners have a hard time promoting themselves as it feels like “bragging” or might feel too “salesy” so allowing your clients to spread the word and share your stories can be your greatest asset in building a business full of clients you love. Creating your own sales referral system takes a little work up front, but the dividends will pay off plentifully.
These tips will work for any business, but I’m focused here on wellness practitioners.
1. Create or join a marketplace with complementary providers to exchange referrals.
Be sure you only include providers in this network that you’d be comfortable recommending to your best client or best friend.
2. Recognize and thank your referral sources.
This could be a simple phone call, email, or even better, a handwritten note. The important thing is to express your appreciation. You’ll also encourage additional referrals this way
3. Include a “Referrals Appreciated” blurb in your print or email newsletter.
Be sure to describe what an ideal referral looks like for you.
4. In your email newsletter, include this request.
“If you got value from this article, please share it with your network (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).” Add icons and links that make it easy to share content.
5. Add to your email signature: Referrals Appreciated.
6. Add a “Referrals Appreciated” tagline or “By Referral Only” to your business card.
7. Proactively refer people to other businesses that have a clientele similar to yours.
Let those businesses know you’ve done so and that you’d appreciate the same.
8. Be remarkable.
Remind clients why your work is valuable to them.Give them something (good) to talk about.
9. Inspire confidence.
You can inspire confidence in your clients by letting them know that 80% (or whatever) of your business comes from repeat customers and that you LOVE getting business that way.
10. Provide valuable content your referral sources can share with their network.
An invitation to a breakfast or lunch seminar or webinar on a health or home care topic, or more ways to achieve better health. Make it something special for them to share.
11. If you generate traffic from Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, reach out to your networks online and request referrals.
On Twitter, you can ask your followers to retweet to their networks.
12. Be helpful in online forums.
Answer questions and offer help in places where people are asking for help. There are many stories of helpful people getting business just from the goodwill they create from helping on Twitter, LinkedIn, and private online communities.
13. Treat your customers as partners, too.
Let them know you view them as an important part of your business and ask for help in growing, they’ll love to help.
14. Give your raving fans some extra love and thanks, every time you see them.
15. GIVE one referral right now!
It’s one of the best ways to get one in return.
16. and last but certainly not least: Be Referable
Ensure that you deliver what you promise and that you continually focus on bringing more and more value to your clients.