Creative Ways & Ideas to Increase Business Referrals

By November 12, 2020 June 1st, 2023 Sales & Marketing Advice

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

Most business owners would rather spend time attracting new leads than pursuing referrals. It can be more fun to look for new customers, and gathering new leads is an ego boost due to your sales strategy. However, the best and most efficient method for small business owners regarding lifetime value is finding creative ways to increase referrals.

A red-haired male with folded hands pleads for ideas to increase business referrals

Why Get More Referrals?

According to Social Media Today, 78% of B2B marketers say that referral programs generate good or excellent leads, and 54% say that referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead than other channels. Referrals also have a much higher conversion rate than entirely new leads, and clients who have been referred are more likely to stick around for extended periods. 

This is true for one main reason: people trust others more than advertising or salespeople. You might make a connection with a new lead with a cold call, but it’s never going to come close to the relationship that the same person has with their family and friends. 

Getting referrals from existing customers costs little to nothing, making this one of the most affordable ways to attract new customers—if you have the right strategy. In addition, you can do wonders for your business by finding creative ways to increase referrals.

Business Referral Strategies

In his book The Referral Engine, John Jantsch emphasizes the importance of trust within your brand. You build trust with your customers by providing free helpful content, encouraging them to buy your product or service. Then, when the quality blows them away, they’ll leverage their trust with their contacts to recommend your brand. 

Building trust is the cornerstone of getting referrals, but there are other referral ideas for businesses you can try as well. For example, here are a few creative ways to increase referrals:

  • Ask. Most of us don’t even think to ask for referrals, assuming that our customer or client will say no. However, a satisfied client might be able to recommend some new leads immediately. 
  • Follow up. If your client or customer doesn’t have a referral for you right away, try following up later while the product or service is still fresh in their mind. They might be more inclined to refer others if they enjoy using it. This step can be automated via email if convenient for your business.
  • Make it easy. Many online shops have a simple “refer a friend” option with a pre-generated email template—all your customer has to do is enter their friend’s email address. Most businesses, even service-based ones, can do the same. 
  • Create an incentive. Many businesses offer a value offer for anyone who successfully refers a friend to the company. This is easy to set up and can encourage repeat customers and gather new ones. 

Learning how to get business referrals is a crucial success factor for businesses, and it can be discovered if you’re unsure where to start. So please fill out my contact form, and let’s discuss creative ways to increase referrals for your business. 

Coach Dave


Dave Schoenbeck
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