Lead Generation

How to Encourage Referrals From Existing Clients

22nd May 2019

Nobody knows your business quite as well as you do, but there are people out there who can sing your praises and shout about how good you are at your jobs who work outside your company too: your existing clients.

Growing your business is vitally important in the ongoing success of the company and getting your name out there, but building new relationships with prospective customers and opening the door to have a conversation about how you can help them can be one of the most challenging aspects, so why not leave some of the hard work in the hands of your current clients?

As someone who has already put their trust in you, invested in you and employed you; they must already have a pretty good opinion of you, right? They must also see a value in the goods or services you’re providing, otherwise you would’ve had some pretty awkward conversations with your client contact! This means that you’re doing something right, and you have the potential to harness that great working relationship to help bring in new business without having to do all of the initial hard graft that got you to this point with your current client base.

How can current clients influence prospective clients?

So how can they do this? The trap that you definitely don’t want to fall into here is one whereby you rely on word-of-mouth from your clients and sit there with your feet up on the desk. Whether you have a new business or business development team or not, the buck still rests with you to get the clients to sign on the dotted line.

Your current list of clients can provide the fanfare, it’s down to you to seal the deal. One way in which this new business partnership can flourish is through on-site testimonials. We wrote recently about how unique, engaging content on your website can help to grow your business in terms of building authority, gaining a presence and improving your organic search visibility; and testimonials are an excellent way of further enhancing all three.

Whether it’s a video interview that you transcribe and publish on the blog or a unique section of the site, or a case study, your clients can provide genuine feedback on how they’ve found working with you, what you’ve done for them and the results to date. This is an excellent way of portraying your company in a positive light, and additional exposure for the client, too, which is a win-win for everyone in that respect.

Of course, one of the most effective – and simplest – ways of getting a referral is your client taking it upon themselves to speak to their contacts. That could be face-to-face during a coffee shop catch-up with friends who work in different sectors or it could be them posting about you to their thousands of connections on LinkedIn, an under-appreciated form of social media where decision makers can find recommendations from others and act upon them.

A positive mention from an existing customer can help bring in a number of ‘hot’ new leads which opens the door for more and more new business down the line.

So what’s the key?

The key is relatively simple – to maintain a positive working relationship with all of your current clients, no matter how much they pay per month or how long they’ve been with you. Keeping those relationships going and ensuring that you give them the same personal touch that you gave in the early days can help to keep them happy to the point where they’re more than willing to go out of their way and recommend you to others, helping you to grow your business just by being great at what you do.

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