3 Tips for Getting Word of Mouth Referrals from Customers

word of mouth referralsWord of mouth has long been one of the most powerful forms of advertising a construction company can use, but it doesn’t happen all by itself. To really get your clients actively spreading the word about your business, you’ll need to guide them toward taking action.

Make it Easy

The less effort your clients need to put into sending leads your way, the more likely they are to do it. Start by giving your clients extra material they can hand out to anyone who might be interested. Make sure it’s material that offers real value so your clients will feel good about passing it on to their friends and business associates. It could be something as simple as a pamphlet with 10 tips for controlling costs on a commercial office building project. Beyond this, provide a simple method for sending in referrals. Offer a form on your website or mail out a form with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Reward Referrals 

The simplest option for motivating your clients to send you leads is a fixed-amount cash reward or a percentage of the profit from your new client. Alternatively, send a gift that’s personalized to your clients’ interests, such as a wine club membership or a photography class voucher. A reward like this can help strengthen your relationships by showing you care about your clients as individuals. To reduce the risk your client will forget, offer a time-limited bonus available only for leads sent within two or three weeks of their projects’ completion.

End on a High Note

The way you cap off a project is the way your client will remember you. Leave them with a positive impression and they’ll be more likely to recommend your company, even if the project hit some minor bumps along the way. When a project ends, surprise your client with a token of appreciation, such as a gift card to buy something for their new building or a set of framed photos of the building.

3 Ways To Get Current Customers To Provide Construction Leads

personal referralsWord of mouth is critical for construction lead generation and your current customers present some of your best opportunities for getting the word out about your firm. To get those referrals coming in steadily, though, you’ll need to give your customers a little encouragement.

  1. Time it Right – When your client is feeling especially appreciative of your work, they’re more receptive to the idea of returning the favor by sending business your way. A few good times to ask for a referral are when your client thanks you for a job well done, after you’ve done a favor for them or gotten them out of a sticky situation, or when you’ve exceeded expectations, such as by getting a job done ahead of schedule. Be ready with a form that’s easy for your clients to fill in with their referral’s contact information. A self-addressed, postage-paid postcard they can drop in the mail later is even better.
  2. Offer a Little Extra Motivation – A referral program offering a reward for new clients is the most clear-cut way to incentivize customer referrals. For large contracts your current customers help bring in, you could even offer a cut of the profits. A cash incentive isn’t a must, though. In fact, with high-end clients, small rewards can backfire by looking trivial. Instead, when a valuable client sends you a construction lead that turns into business, thank them with a gift tailored to their preferences, such as restaurant gift card, tickets to an event or a bottle of their favorite wine. A thoughtful gift is likely to be remembered when another referral opportunity shows up.
  3. Stay in Touch – Even during on-going projects, continue building relationships with your clients to keep your firm at the forefront of their minds. Pass along useful industry news, tell them about a potential opportunity or introduce them to someone who could benefit their business. As you connect, educate your clients about the range of services you offer so they understand what kind of clients you’re looking for.

 

Referral Marketing In An Online World

online referral marketingEncouraging referrals is one of the most effective ways to create a steady stream of construction leads and this approach isn’t limited to in-person exchanges. Strategic referral marketing online can bring you more leads with less effort.

Take Your Rewards Program Online

When a satisfied client directs a lead to your website, that lead may still be collecting information and exploring their options. By the time they’re ready to do business, chances are high they’ll forget to mention who sent them and the referrer loses out, discouraging further referrals.

To prevent that situation, use software that lets you give anyone who might send you business a personal referral link to your website. This lets you track signups and downloads by referrer. Another option is to provide a personal code they can pass along that will let the lead access valuable downloads on your site.

Engage in Social Listening

Tuning in to what’s being said about your firm on social media makes it easy to spot fans who would be happy to send leads your way. With a tool such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or Hootsuite, you can quickly track down any social media mentions of your firm’s name or projects you’ve worked on. When you find someone talking positively about your work, reach out to let them know you appreciate referrals and invite them to take part in your incentive program.

Maintain Top-of-Mind Awareness

Part of successful referral marketing online is making sure your firm is the first one your former clients think of when someone they know needs construction work done. Maintaining that level of awareness takes regular contact beyond follow-up phone calls and post cards. Online content lets you keep in touch consistently yet unobtrusively.

Use your blog and newsletter to publish genuinely useful information that keeps your clients coming back. Periodically offer handy tips sheets, templates, and other resources. When you can, create detailed white papers you can pass along to former clients, and they can forward to their network.

For more tips on effective referral marketing online, contact us at Construction Monitor

 

3 Quick And Easy Lead Generation Tips

lead generation tipsAttracting new construction clients doesn’t have to be all hard work. By following some time-saving lead generation tips, you’ll be able to pick up qualified leads without adding much to your workload.

Provide Gated Content

One of the simplest yet often-overlook online lead generation tips is to make your most valuable content available only in exchange for an email address. This is a particularly smart strategy if you already have a few juicy articles or videos that see heavy traffic. Any content that solves a specific problem or provides information on a topic your prospects need to understand in order to reach their goals is fair game.

For longer articles, create a PDF version that’s downloadable in return for an email address. For videos, use a service that lets you embed a form requiring an email to view the video.

Reward Referrals

Your clients are busy people and no matter how much they love your services, they might not take the time to recommend you unless you give them a little extra nudge. Offering a hefty cash reward for every referral who turns into a client can be just the motivation they need. When you calculate the amount you can justify offering, keep the lifetime value of the client in mind.

Make it easy for your satisfied clients to send business your way by providing them with simple referral forms. Do all this and you can have warm, qualified leads coming in regularly with no extra effort on your part.

Run a Fishbowl Giveaway

If you’re looking for local leads, the restaurants favored by your target market can help. Ask management to let you place a bowl by the register with a sign inviting guests to enter to win a free meal for two at that restaurant. Instead of capturing business cards, ask entrants to fill out a questionnaire that allows you to pre-qualify them. Choose your winners and take those qualified leads out to dinner to get a conversation started.

For more highly effective lead generation tips, contact Construction Monitor.

3 Innovative Ways to Generate Word-of-Mouth Referrals

referral programReferrals are some of the most promising business prospects you can get, but attracting them takes more ingenuity than ordinary advertising does. With a little creative referral marketing, you can build a steady stream of construction leads.

Make sending postcards easy: Keep the clients waiting in your lobby busy by giving them the opportunity to write a postcard that you’ll send for them. Have a pack of postcards printed up with your firm’s logo and contact information, and either a marketing message or an appealing image the recipient will want to hang on to. Place them in a display on your front desk with a sign explaining your offer. You could offer this as a “refer a friend” option or let your clients write whatever they want.

Showcase your top clients: When you create a presentation, workshop or post for your blog, find a way to highlight your best clients. Helping your clients gain visibility can bring them more business and encourage them to return the favor. In addition, the fact that they’re already working with you acts as an endorsement. It gives anyone considering hiring your firm a place to turn for a third-party opinion on your services.

Join a networking group: Meeting up with a group of other professionals for breakfast every Tuesday might not seem like an efficient referral marketing tactic, but consider that each one of those business people has a network of their own. Building real relationships with them gives you a chance to tap into those broader networks.

Interacting with a group of like-minded individuals also helps you develop your knowledge, pick up new marketing ideas, and gain connections and opportunities for collaboration.

As you get to know people in the group, aim to inform them of how you handle referrals. Let them know you treat prospects with respect and won’t hound them for work. This helps remove the perceived risk to someone who might want to send a friend or their own client your way.

For more tips on effective referral marketing, contact Construction Monitor today.