Tammy Levent | April 27, 2016 3:15 PM ET
How Do I Get Referrals From Past Guests?
Dear Tammy: I want to drum up new business by using referrals from past guests, but how do I get them?
Tammy: In the 1980s, there was a very successful commercial for Faberge Organics Shampoo where a woman was so happy with her hair that she “told two friends who told two friends and so on and so on…” That’s exactly what you want when you work with your client. You want your client to tell other people that they had such a good time on the trip that you planned for them that they should use you to book their trip.
However, you can’t always depend on that, but you can depend on a written referral that you get from one guest to show another prospective client. Referral marketing is a highly successful way of marketing your business. Here are some tips to help you get more referrals:
1. Email follow-up: When your client’s trip is over, send an email asking how the trip went and ask if the client would refer you to another client. A simple email reminder could be all it takes for your client to write something up that you can use.
2. Take a poll: SurveyMonkey is an online survey program you can use to have your client fill out an easy-to-use form where they can tell you exactly what they think. Doing the work for them takes one step out of the process and will probably result in more responses.
3. Offer an incentive: Your clients may not have a lot of time, but provide an incentive and they might respond. The incentive could be a discount, upgrade or something else that will entice them. Not all incentives work, but some may trigger more responses than others.
4. Say thank you: Show your gratitude to your client by simply saying thank you.
5. Target your customers: You do not need a referral from every client you have. Instead focus on trying to get referrals from a few clients where your service was exceptional or where you performed an “epic save” on their trip.
6. Target other businesses: Consider asking for referrals from some of the destinations or venues that you use. These can be just as valuable to your potential clients.
7. Don’t worry: If you do not get a referral from your client this time, don’t think that you did anything wrong. Sometimes people just do not have enough of time or they just have nothing to say. Instead, continue networking and build up your relationship with that client. Maybe, after the next trip, they might be willing to write something up for you.
Keep these referrals on hand and updated so that you have them to show someone. This might mean the difference between getting a new client and, well, not.
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