Referral Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

It’s January, the diary’s looking a little
bit quiet but here’s a proactive way that you can start marketing your business to get
some really great leads. Marketing tools that win you more work; Digitool. Im here with Phil Hall fromTLC Bath he specialises
in carpet, upholstery, floor and rug cleaning. Indeed, that’s right Daisy, yes. And you run a very successful business with
one really great marketing tip that you’ve kindly come here to share with us. Yes I have it’s Referral Source Marketing,
it’s something we’ve done for a few years now which has more than doubled the profits
of business and made out lives so much better. Well we can not wait to hear about your tips,
can we ask you lots of different questions? Of course you can, fire away! Amazing, just to hear that one marketing has
more than doubled your business has got me super excited, so can you please explain what
referral marketing is and how you use it? Yes, yes no problem at all. Referral Source
Marketing is basically going to find the people that can refer good, new clients to you and
then following a system to build a relationship with them and help them and so that they become
comfortable passing on clients to you. Basically that’s all it is about, regular visits to
the right people. We’re in the carpet cleaning business so we’re going to carpet shops, carpets
and flooring shops, interior designers, property management companies and letting agents and
we’ve done this for four and a half years now and our net profit has gone from about
45,000 to over 100,000. Just from this referral marketing scheme? Yes! Amazing! So you say that you go and target
businesses that have got a similar target audiencce to you, so carpet shops, estate
agents Sure When you target them, what are you going into
their business and doing? What we do, it’s a cold call initially, which
we all dread, we take them a gift. Usually take maybe cakes, or some fruit and ask them
if we can leave leaflets. Well if you take the cake or fruit you can’t possibly say no
to the leaflets. We visit on a regular basis to offer more leaflets and obviously take
some more goodies and build a relationship and as time passes on then they will begin
hopefully to send you clients and it’s worked wonderfully well for us. Perfect, so you’re going in, giving them the
goodies and the leaflets and is there anything you say? Do you go in with an alternative
motive or are you just giving a pressie? It’s very much giving a pressie. What one
of the most important points of this is that you have to give something before you can
recieve. Now, Phil, you’ve been doing referral marketing
really, properly, for four years now. How did it start and how does that compare to
right now? Right well if you want to start that, what
you’ve got to do is, assuming say you’re in the carpet cleaning industry. You need a list
of your local retailers, if you’re doing hard floors then tile shops etc, and just work
out a route. If you work out a route and how to drive round them all, the way we’ve done
it we have a ringbinder The big black book The big black book, and there you have the
record of somebody with the dates, when you went, who you saw, four c-c, that’s four cream
cakes and you then go back next month and the month after and you just keep this record
as you go round then you fill it in in your car, and then flip over and drive to the next
one. So this black book is your record of who you
visited, so you can make sure you’re giving them the right cakes and am I right, is this
also location based? So that you’re not driving from one point to the other? Absolutely, yeah it’s town by town in a logical
order so you’re going round the same people in minimal mileage each time. And you drive
round with your eyes open looking for new shops and new people Can you tell us when it started and how it
was working in the beginning for you? Studies have shown it takes about seven visits
before most people are going to trust you and you become part of their business life
and they start sending you clients. You know, it’s a big ask. So you’re going seven times with cookies,
cakes, strawberries, donuts, you’re going seven times before you should expect any sort
of results Yeah well they vary, some are keen and eager
and they have, we offer to help them if they have a problem with a carpet, we wil go and
resolve it. Never charge them!Never ever charge them. So you’re doing almost like a favour for them
at the beginning? Absolutely, you are proving you can do the
work as well. You’re reliable, you can do the job, why shouldn’t they then refer you? Why would a business need their carpet cleaning,
how would that come about? If it was a carpet fitter, sometimes they
can roll out a new roll of carpet from the mill, and there’s a spot of oil on it. We
have Bath’s biggest furniture store, within a week of me going in there, they had a carpet
that had glue that had dripped off a machine. And they’d laid 200 square metres of the carpet,
and they got this major problem. We went in and resolved it in about 20 minutes, ever
since then we have had all their clients that have ever asked for carpet and upholstery
cleaning come straight to us. Genius as well, as you’re not only giving
before you’re receiving from the carpet fitters, but they’re also seeing what kind of results
you do, how brilliant you are, so they feel so much more confident about recommending
TLC Bath. Amazing So that was the beginning, it took a little
time for it to work yeah it took a while to Can you tell us a little about now you’re
four years into consistently doing referral marketing, aren’t you? Yes we’re just over four years now, our turnover
for the business is about 300,000 of which 70,000 comes from referral sources this year. Wow what a huge chunk of the business. Just
this one thing that you’ve done consistently has produced such amazing results. And one
thing you were telling me before we started was that these customers come back to you
year on year as well. Well of course, yes they do. We have one thing
we do and we don’t advertise this at first but when somebody refers a new client to us,
they get a referral reward voucher. Do you just want to hold that up a bit closer
to the screen? Just to give you an idea, it entitles them
to 10% of the value of the first job. We send these to retailers and it can be redeemed
for cash, services or a donation to charity. And many of them actually, well it works out
evenly split as much goes to charity as to the other two choices. So this referral scheme, you’ve given out
donuts, you’ve gained the trust, and when does the referral reward certificate come
into play? Well usually by the third or fourth visit.
Once you’re beginning to relax with them and they’re getting used to you, you mention it.
But it varies from place to place. You learn, you know when the time is right. Yeah of course and you’ve got that good rapport
with your clients. And this referral reward certificate, what have you found the results
have been with that? Well the great thing is, if you think about
it, if you’re giving 10% of each job as a commission, the return if I’m doing it myself,
there’s no labour cost and cakes don’t cost that much. By and large you’re looking at
a 10:1 return. But only half the vouchers get redeemed, roughly 50% of them Interesting Some retailers have said ‘Phil we don’t want
your money!Just keep bringing us cakes!’ So it’s really costing you pennies, the amount
of a packet of donuts costs to get Yeah it’s approximately a 15:1 return, for
every pound we spend, we get fifteen pounds worth of new business. Which is very good
return on a marketing strategy. Thank you that’s awesome advice. Just hearing
the figures it has produced with TLC Bath and the return on investment it’s bringing
back, it seems like something you guys could be doing in January just to have that boost.
And it’s something proactive, if the diary’s not full today, go and buy yourself some donuts,
go speak to some customers, or potential customers and get that diary booked up! Thank you so
much for coming and speaking to us Phil, I really appreciate it. Pleasure! Hi there! Do you see the little Digitool logo below me? Hover over that to subscribe to our channel. Then you’ll be the first to know about all the amazing marketing tips we share to help you win more work. Also, I’ve picked out a video just for you, that I think you’ll enjoy watching next. See you in the next video!

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4 thoughts on “Referral Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

  1. During the cold calls, what questions are you asking? How are you engaging them before the visit? Do you ask what kind of edibles they'd like, or do you decide?? Great video.

  2. I just found this. What a great idea! I am going to start with the folks at our cleaners. Their customers, mostly corporate, would be GREAT! Loved this!

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