Ask any in-home salesperson to identify their preferred lead source and the answer is almost always the same—referrals. So why doesn’t the average home improvement company get more referrals? For the most part, there is a lukewarm application of modern techniques to generate them.
The most effective referral programs incentivize every lead (whether sold or not), provided it is a property owner who can use your product and will listen to your presentation. An additional incentive or bonus should be added if the lead is sold.
Train your sales representatives to introduce referrals during each presentation. With the proper scripting, your customers will want to help the salesperson, your company and themselves, especially when you utilize creative referral methods. Coach your salespeople to present the referral program to unsold leads and offer a “leave-behind” with homeowners.
Developing a Modern Referral Program
- Monitor the successes and failures of your referrals as you would any other lead source.
- Ask new customers for four-five prospects (family, friends, co-workers and neighbors).
- Extend your referral program to all employees.
- Seek out referrals by networking with business owners and executives from other industries.
- Personalize your offers through every touchpoint.
- Incorporate automated email, text campaigns and social media messaging to follow up.
- Create a landing page where your customers can quickly refer someone.
- Send out reminders to customers when the project begins. Follow up with powerful scripting via phone, email and text after the job is completed in 30-, 60- and 90-day increments. You can obviate the “Do Not Call” requirements by getting permission in writing or on your website.
- Get creative with incentives, and reward customers who refer multiple people with higher-value offerings such as gift cards, charitable donations, modern technological products and weekend trips.
If you are a smaller company and don’t have the manpower to implement these steps, leverage the knowledge base of industry providers such as gFour Marketing Group, which has a defined track record of implementing profitable referral programs.
Your program is working if the number of referrals you receive an increase on a month-to-month basis. Create monthly, quarterly and annual incentives for representatives who sell the most referral leads.
Many of our clients sell 20-30% of their volume from referrals with a close rate that is 10-20% higher than other sources.
Remember, you have invested a significant amount of time and money in lead generation efforts. As such, you need to maximize revenue from each of your customers, and a well-developed referral program will help accomplish this goal.