Generating new business for your creative agency using the power of referrals (part 1)

By Stuart 6 years agoNo Comments

Every time I ask a Creative Agency owner what their greatest source of new business is, the unanimous answer is always “referrals” or “word of mouth”.

Generating a constant stream of good word of mouth introductions is a vital part of growing your creative agency.  Let’s look at the maths…..

Imagine you had just two customers.  If, in January they each referred 2 prospects to you and 50% turned into customers, then at the end of the month you’d have 4 customers.

If you repeated the same process each month, by the end of the year you’d have a staggering 8,192 customers.  What a result!!

In reality, we know that’ll never happen.  Customers won’t refer as often and won’t refer the volume either.  But, take just 1% of that result and a lot of agencies will have fulfilled their new business targets for the year!

If the results from generating referrals are so good, then why do very few agencies have strategies to encourage and develop referrals?

The answer may lie in one of three places:

Asking for referrals seems to conjure up images of selling double glazing or something similar where a salesman pushes you a piece of paper and asks you to “write down 3 names…”.  Of course, we’re not in that type of environment.  We are professional people, helping professional customers.

The agency is so busy “doing the work” that it doesn’t create the time or opportunity to discuss referrals with potential referrers.

The agency doesn’t know how to start the referral conversation with referrers.

Before tackling any of these issues, I’d suggest that you spend some time defining your ideal customer.  The type of customer that you’d like referring to.  That’ll make it much easier to structure the conversation and help your potential referrers find opportunities to refer you.

Once that’s done you can start looking at creating your referral strategies.  In part 2 of this article, we’ll take a look at 5 ideas to generate referrals for your agency without sounding like the salesman.

  Creative AgenciesProfit Improvement
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