Since consumers generally don’t need new floors installed on a regular basis, flooring installers must rely on a perpetual influx of new clients. Focusing on bringing in business is practically a full-time job in itself, requiring email marketing, a social media presence, advertising campaigns, and outreach. Especially for a smaller business without a dedicated marketing department, this can take time and energy away from the job site.
A 2015 Nielsen report found that 83 percent of people in the market for a product or service seek recommendations from friends or family members before buying. And according to score.org, verbal referrals have the best conversion rate of all types of referrals, with around 32 percent resulting in a sale. But how do you get client referrals? Here are three effective, actionable ways to get your clients to sing your praises to their friends and family members.
Asking your clients for referrals is one of the best ways to get them. If you’re shy or modest to a fault, asking may feel awkward or anxiety-inducing, but once you do it a few times, it will become easier.
The best time to ask a client for referrals is right after you’ve completed a job that met (or, preferably, exceeded) the client’s expectations. Here are some effective ways to ask for client referrals:
• Give your client a few business cards to offer people who comment on the completed installation or who are in the market for new flooring.
• Inquire if the client has any friends or family looking for a flooring installer.
• Ask the client to post a picture of the finished project on social media and tag your business.
• Ask the client to leave a review on a site like Angie’s List or Yelp.
Start a Referral Program
Referral programs with rewards are great incentives for getting client referrals. Consider offering a free gift or a service to clients who refer you to someone else. Cash, movie tickets, and gift cards are popular referral rewards.
When implementing your referral program, decide whether the referral must lead to a sale in order to qualify for the free gift. Be sure to establish a system for asking new clients if someone referred them.
Whether or not you choose to offer rewards for referrals, always make a point to thank referring clients with a phone call, email, or card. It will make them feel special and appreciated, and they’ll be more likely to refer you again.
Offer the Best Possible Service
People talk. Whether or not you ask for a referral, chances are, if one of your clients is talking to a friend who needs a floor installed, they’ll mention your name. If you provided that client with exceptional work and outstanding customer service, that mention will likely be extremely positive. If the work wasn’t up to their standards or they got the runaround from customer service, the mention will likely be negative.
The most surefire way to get clients to mention your name is to provide them with friendly, reliable customer service and the highest quality of work. Go above and beyond in all of your jobs, and you’ll grow a large cache of clients who will happily refer their friends and family to you for years to come.