Too often business owners get stuck in a rut when it comes to generating referrals. The common ploy of paying for referrals just doesn’t do much to motivate, and in fact, may feel a bit distasteful in many settings.
I’ve found that some of the best ways to stimulate referrals is to do something creative enough that it stimulates buzz and word of mouth. The idea is to get people talking so that they refer without really overtly selling anything.
Here are two pretty creative examples, one for customer referrals and one for partner referrals:
A financial planner held annual review meetings with all of his customers. When they arrived at his office one year he went over strategies and tactics for the coming year in his full windowed conference room while a mobile auto detail service went over the customer’s car from top to bottom. His customers were so thrilled they couldn’t help but rave to others about their surprise treatment.
A software reseller was looking to partner with a local CPA firm to get introductions to their customers and show them the time and money saving programs they had developed. So, in a effort to get an audience with all the CPAs in the firm, instead of setting up the PowerPoint and bringing bagels, they brought a couple masseuses and provided the accountants with a neck and shoulder massage while they pitched their “stress-relieving” approach. Again, buzz and a little bit of fun can go a long way towards building a referral network.
So, what creative motivators have you come across?