4 tips to boost referrals to your fractional executive business in 2023
Selling a service is hard, like really hard. While there are many avenues of customer acquisition, one of the best ways to acquire customers is through referrals. It's worth noting that over half of consultants report that 60% of their business comes via referrals. This speaks volumes about the power of referrals and their impact on business growth. In this post, we will dive into the essentials of getting referrals for your business and how to build a referral machine using the network you have.
Let’s dive in.
The Power of Referrals
For starters, let’s establish why referrals are so great for your business. Firstly, they come from a trusted source, usually an existing customer or partner, which immediately lends credibility to your business. Secondly, referrals often have a much higher conversion rate than other forms of marketing. The reason is simple: people are more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend or colleague than an advertisement. Referrals mean that somebody liked you and your service enough to recommend you to another person, that doesn't happen by accident. The conscious nature of referrals means that the person being referred to already has a level of confidence in you that someone who comes through an ad does not.
Building a Referral Culture
Building a referral culture can happen one of 2 ways, through your customers, and through other fractionals. Building through your customers is the more common method and it all comes down to service. Deliver an amazing experience and they will refer you to others in their network who need that service. When it comes to referrals from other fractionals, you should look for fractionals in your space that deal with larger or smaller clients than you. You will both often receive inquiries from potential clients that are not ideal for you but are for the other fractional. The best part is that you can create this deal with an unlimited number of other fractionals!
Establishing a Referral Program
A well-structured referral program can be a highly effective way to encourage more referrals. This could be something as simple as offering a discount or reward for each successful referral. For example, if you run a consultancy business, you could offer a free consultation or a discount on future services for each successful referral. Making sure the reward is something your clients actually want is the key to getting them to share.
Asking for Referrals
While providing excellent service might prompt some customers to refer to your business organically, often you'll need to be proactive in asking for referrals. This could be as simple as sending an email to your customers asking if they know anyone who could benefit from your services or products. You should make it clear to them that you value their opinion and appreciate their help.
Leveraging Social Proof
Finally, make the most of your referrals by leveraging them as social proof. Share testimonials and case studies from happy customers who were referred to your business. This can be incredibly convincing to potential customers. Some clients will even allow you to provide contact information to potential new clients. This is extremely valuable because there's a sense of connection that potential customer will have with your current customer that can’t be created any other way
With the numbers clearly indicating that referrals are one of the best ways for consultants and fractionals to acquire new customers, this is a route that every fractional should heavily explore. Remember that it's not about building a robust referral program out of the gate, it's about starting small and adding more components as necessary.