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How Promotional Items Can Get You More Referrals

April 2nd, 2012

Most small business owners don’t ask their customers for referrals. It’s not putting them on the spot that concerns them; it’s simply not top of mind. And so, the question rarely gets posed. With that in mind, this post is designed to get you thinking about acquiring more referrals for your business – and how the right promotional products can help you achieve your means.


Getting referralsEveryone leads hectic lives. No question about it. Yet people will go out of their way to do a small favor (when asked) for people they respect. When someone identifies another as sharing their same values, background, economic class, political views, etc. that person is even more compelled to answer the request in a positive way.


Here’s an example: Let’s say you sell fishing and hunting gear online. Your selection includes everything related to fishing and hunting. Your web site is not on the first page of Google for any organic search terms, nor do you advertise with pay-per-click. You grew up in a small coastal town in Mississippi. Most of your customers went to high school with you. You see them in church on Sunday. And of course, you hunt together.


Your current customer base is right around 113. In direct response marketing, if you achieve a 3% response rate your campaign hit the average figure. But when you ask a customer for a referral it’s more personal. And when you present the request in a favorable light you’re most likely to get one or more names of prospects you can call on.


So what is the best way to package the request?

A great question can sometimes result in many answers. Let’s talk briefly about one way you can go about it. Mr. Smith is your most loyal customer. He’s spent thousands of dollars with you. You always call Mr. Smith after his order is received to make sure everything arrived as expected.

Recently Mr. Smith ordered $500.00 worth of goods. You decide to write him a letter thanking him for his business. You also include a coupon for his next purchase along with a couple extra lines…asking for names of people who may want to shop your Web site. The letter was inserted in a promotional tumbler, which naturally has your company logo and URL on it.


The Psychology Behind the Request

Promotional Tumbler

The psychology behind pairing the promotional tumbler with the request is simple: by offering a gift the recipient now feels obligated to return the favor. In this case, the favor comes in the form of a couple of referrals.

Studies have concluded it’s much easier to close a sale when you mention a friend, colleague or family member suggested you call and introduce yourself – and services. So reward your clients whenever they refer people your way. It’s the right thing to do. Businesses of all sizes have been partaking in this ritual for decades. Consider the local gym right across the street. If you get a friend to sign up for a membership they give you a promotional towel or water bottle.

Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to asking your customers for referrals. Simply pair the request with a useful promotional item and watch the referrals stack up. The profit that comes your way is more than enough to justify the marketing expense. Plus, your customers will be staring at your logo at work, in the car or at home, so you got that silent salesman working for you on the side as well.


Call (866) 751-PROMO for a catalog full of promotional products that stimulate referrals.

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