It’s no secret that personal referrals are the lifeblood of service businesses. Whether you are an accountant or plumber, chiropractor or mechanic, most of your business is built by word of mouth.
So, what are the 5 psychological drivers that strong brands employ to generate more referrals?
Businesses that stand apart from the competition have invested the time to identify specific customer pain points and then promote their remedy. By specializing in narrowly-focused service areas these businesses are more referable:
People love to share something they feel they have just discovered. Give them that reason by promoting specialty services.
We are all social by nature – even the curmudgeons. We share, compare, discuss, complain and complement each other. We ask for trusted friends’ opinions before we buy. In other words, consumers place trust in social circles to shape and reinforce buying habits.
If what you do isn’t so loveable, find something about your company that is. Promote personal achievements. You might publicly acknowledge client growth or project success. Perhaps celebrate a staff-member finishing a marathon. Whatever you chose, make it personal and stand out.
Offering products or services which are available in a limited quantity create buzz that fuels referrals. It plays right into the psychology of persuasion. Scarcity is one of the key persuasive ingredients which compels shoppers to act, as people will desire something more if it is seen as less available.
If your brand doesn’t produce limited edition goods or services, you can still tap into the influence of scarcity. Simply develop a referral reward program which must be redeemed in a short timeframe, thus driving the need for urgency. Be sure to reward both the person referring, and the person referred.
Be Tech Savvy
Early adopters love to be ahead of the curve and strive to be among the first to experience the “latest” service or product, particularly when new technology.
Offering new, tech savvy, goods or services, you’ll tap into the power of ego. How? Why? Because the only thing early adopters are love more than something new is sharing that they were first to try it.
It sounds obvious; friends want to share fun experiences with each other. Mundane activities tend to be ignored.
Not surprisingly, people are much more likely to share a product or service that is seen as entertaining. Indeed, research shows that experiences such as travel, entertainment and leisure are some of the most likely categories to be referred.
That doesn’t mean that referral isn’t successful in other categories. The key is to make the messaging surrounding the offer fun or entertaining.
Even if your brand doesn’t exhibit one of these 5 elements, the key to referral marketing success is to tap into the underlying psychology that drives consumers to become your advocate and take action. Develop referral strategies built on engagement, fun, uniqueness, savvy or exclusivity.
Most of all, create buzz that’s worth talking about.