Who doesn’t LOVE client referrals? I mean as a business owner referrals are the dream way to land clients. You don’t have to look for new clients or endlessly pitch yourself on Facebook threads. They just come to you which is exactly why you need a referral program.
Let’s dive in!
Besides the services I offer my current clients, referrals are how I grew my business to 20 clients in under one year. People trust the people they personally know, so hearing from their friend who invested in working with me that it’s worth it is huge.
You always want to show up to the absolute best of your abilities for your clients because that’s what they’re paying you for but you also want to do this because if you’re giving your clients an above and beyond type of experience they will be more incentivized to tell their friends and fellow business owners they found an amazing VA to work with. The goal is to have your clients singing your praises about how much easier you’ve made their life.
This is exactly why you need a referral system! Having one set-up truly does incentivize your current clients to refer you to their network. Depending on how you set it up, it’s easy money for them or free hours, and it’s great for you because you’re bringing in more income with the new client. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me!
Having a referral system improves customer retention, is FREE marketing for you (seriously, they’re doing the work here) and relieves the pressure of selling all the time (even though you should be selling still). If you don’t enjoy selling (yet) this is a great way to have your current clients do the leg work for you.
There are a few ways a referral system works and it’s totally personal preference.
You could pay them a flat rate for each referral they send your way that signs with you. This rate should be something worthwhile for their referral but still something that makes sense and feels good for you from a business standpoint.
You could pay them a percentage of the client’s new contract price. This way could be a little tough if you’re charging your new client less than your current client for whatever reason but I’ve still seen it done. If your new client signs for $500 a month then you could give them 20% of that $500. Again, do whatever amount feels good to you while also being fair to your referrer.
The third way to do referral programs is to give your clients “free” hours of work instead of cash. You could let your client know they’re getting 1-3 free hours of work credited towards their account next billing month.
Right now, I think the best way for my business is to use the flat rate system. But again, it’s an absolutely personal choice and what feels best for you and your business.
If you haven’t implemented a referral program yet, why not?
If you think of another way to do a referral program, I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below!
Rooting for you,