Your website could be costing you leads and you don’t even know it. Nowadays it’s not just enough to have compelling content and pictures. Your website needs to be optimized for all the devices people are finding you on and load quickly on them as well. It also needs to be fast, easy and painless to contact you from wherever they may be on your website.
Referrals, of course, are the best leads of all. But you don’t have to bribe or beg to get them.
Here’s the challenge with writing an article about “getting more referrals.” It’s kind of like me suggesting that we should all “have more world peace.” Everyone’s in support of it, but it takes more than just wanting it to make it happen.
In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say that – much like social media – when it comes to referrals, you’re probably doing it wrong.
That’s because most education on getting more referrals is based on one or both of the following “world-famous, tried and true, yet highly-annoying and barely successful” referral strategies:
Begging: “Please, please, please, would you give me the names of five of your friends? Who do you know that might be interested in my services?”
Bribing: “Hey buddy, I’ll give you $200 if you’ll give me the name of somebody, and they buy a pool from me.”
Yes, these strategies can work. But you and I both know they only work a small percentage of the time. And here’s why:
First of all, they make you look and sound like an annoying and desperate insurance salesman who’s trying to use you for his own personal gain.
It instantly demonstrates that you are first and foremost focused on your own success, rather than their satisfaction.
You’re asking a happy, wealthy pool owner to stop enjoying that for a while, and start being your personal salesperson instead. If you thought you were building a positive relationship with this homeowner, you can kiss that idea goodbye.
And most importantly – it ignores the most fundamental of all rules when it comes to getting more referrals: If they knew someone looking for a pool, and they thought you were the best fit for the job, they would tell you.
If you don’t believe me, answer this question: Have you ever had an opportunity to refer a friend to someone who could help them, but didn’t because that salesperson failed to first ask you for referrals or offer to bribe you with a little kickback?
Nah, me neither.
You and I don’t give referrals because we were begged or bribed by a salesperson.
We give referrals because we want to help our friends.
So instead, you should focus on creating a spectacular experience for your client so that if and when they ever run into someone who might benefit from your services, they won’t hesistate to recommend you with glowing enthusiasm. If they genuinely believe you will do a great job, they’ll be delighted to refer you because now they’re doing a favor for their friend.
So let’s get to what I really wanted to share with you in this article today. Not “hey, you should get more referrals,” but “Here are some better, clever ways for you to get more referrals.”
Let me start by telling you about one of the most successful pool sales people I ever met. Down in Miami, for seven years straight, she consistently sold twice as much as every other salesperson in the office. Everyone thought it was because she was sleeping with the sales manager. (Which in fact, she was. But that’s okay, because they were married.) So while the other sales reps all presumed “he’s getting her all the best leads,” the fact is she was nurturing the best leads herself by delighting all of her existing clients.
We have to start here. The fact is that the world has gone mobile, and you know this already. Heck, you’re likely reading this on some type of hand held device.
Because of this fact, you have to be able to engage visitors where they are already spending their time, and better yet, you need to provide them with a valuable and easy experience when they arrive at your website.
Consider this: 87% of smartphone users are turning to search on their phone first when looking for a product or service from a local provider.
Once you capture a users attention, you have to be able to convert that user, and engage with that user.
A responsive website design is a huge part of this, and and a crucial first step for you to take, if you haven’t already. This type of design will adjust based on the screen size of the device that a visitor is using.
If you’re unsure if your website is currently mobile responsive, use Google’s free tool, here.
Not only can you use Facebook targeting to reach potential new accounts, you can also use it to connect with statewide partnerships. Target home builders or realtors with your services, so when they are with their clients you will be the first company that they recommend.
Text/Mobile Business Card
Increasing your client referrals is both online and offline. Creating a page on your website with pertinent contact info, services offered, and a quick logo is super easy, and you can make this easy to share across both email or text messaging.
Use the link to share your contact info with new potential clients, realtors, and others, and encourage them to forward the message to others whom you could provide your great pool cleaning services.
Increase Local WOM
Word of mouth is no longer limited to someone passing names to their next door neighbor. Americans have proven that they trust online reviews as much as they would a personal friend giving them the same recommendation. With that in mind, increasing your online reviews is paramount to you receiving more word of mouth business for your pool service company.
So how can you increase your reviews online, and where?
Google is undoubtedly the king of the online reviews. When people search for your business, sure they’ll see other outlets like Angies List and Yelp, but they’ll initially (and prominently) see your Google review rating.