A Different Way to Ask For Referrals

It’s a simple thing to ask for a referral, yet many of us don’t always do it. Why is that?

Maybe it’s because we fear an awkward or forced conversation.

Maybe we think we’re bothering people when we call.

Maybe it’s because we assume clients will refer us on their own (Psssst… it doesn’t work that way!)

Part of what we preach on a daily basis to our clients and really, anyone who wants to listen, is you need to follow-up with your clients on a regular basis in order to stay top of mind with them. Staying in touch will help ensure they remember your name or business when an opportunity arises for them to mention you to their friends or family.

The best follow-up strategy consists of multiple touchpoints including:

  • digital
  • direct mail
  • phone (call or text)
  • social media 
  • face-to-face

We’re going to go ahead and assume your digital and direct mail strategies are thriving (special shoutout to American Lifestyle magazine and the Digital Marketing Platform!). Let’s instead focus on a face-to-face pop-by strategy that you can implement regularly to help your business stand out and help you stay top of mind to get those referrals!

Why Pop-Bys?

In our eyes, a successful pop-by is something that will:

  • Break the ice and ease you into a conversation.
  • Help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Encourage your clients to remember you.

And because your clients already know, like, and trust you, they’ll be the ones to give you those deserved referrals, so it’s especially helpful when your pop-by includes asking for a referral.

For example, consider pairing a free pop-by printable tag that has a catchy saying that will grab people’s attention and a small gift to give out. You can find some examples here!

A 48-page, high quality magazine with your information on the cover and throughout will surely help you stand out!

Another option would be to stop by with your personalized American Lifestyle or Start Healthy magazine, since this is also a gift that your clients will enjoy, and something that you don’t have to spend time preparing.

Sure, stopping by your client’s home with a small gift does take a little bit of extra effort, but think about how impressed they will be with your thoughtfulness!

Click on this image to download your free Pop-by Tracking Sheet!

Plan it Out

Like everything else in business, putting a plan in place will make executing your ideas much easier.

Prior to stopping by the homes of your past and current clients, you will need to consider locations, times, and what budget you want to stick to.

To make this easier for you, we created this Pop-By Tracking Sheet for you to follow, along with all of the steps below to make sure you are getting the results you want.

1. Set your budget. It is important to figure out how much you want to spend before creating a pop-by plan because costs could easily get out of control if not planned properly. You need to consider printing costs along with the value of the item you are giving away, plus driving costs (see point #2). For example, giving someone a chocolate bar will cost far less than giving someone a full bottle of wine.

But don’t shy away from doing pop-bys because of the cost. Consider the value of one referral (hopefully more!). If you spend $100 on a pop-by that you deliver to 20 people and get a referral from just one of them that lands you a 6% commission on a $250,000 home, would you consider your initial investment to be worth it? Of course you would!

Consider the audience you are targeting with your pop-bys to get the most bang for your buck. Stopping by the homes of people you haven’t spoken to in years may not be the best way to start. Instead, start by keeping current with people you have worked with in the past year and track your referral rate after reaching out to them using pop-bys. This will help you determine who and how many clients to visit in the future.

2. Plan your time. As mentioned before, doing pop-bys will take a bit more time than merely texting or emailing a client. But the trade-off is providing greater value and creating a more memorable experience. After selecting a free printable (check out some helpful links below) you will need to print it.Sending your printable to a copy center such as Staples, Office Depot, or Office Max will save you some time, especially if you ask them to cut each printable out for you. After that, you will only need to spend a short amount of time assembling and attaching your giveaway item.

To make the most of your time, consider printing a large number of printables at one time. You can choose a printable that will work for any time of year, or select seasonal printables you can use at different times during the year. Having seasonal pop-by tags already printed will provide extra motivation to give them out since each one will have a seasonal or holiday deadline!

For example, you might consider this schedule below. You can print for the year or a few months at a time.

 
JANUARY: Cold and Flu Season Sanitizer Tags
FEBRUARY: Valentine Pop-By Tags
MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day Gift Tags
APRIL: Easter Candy Cards
MAY: Extra Gum Referral Tags
JUNE: Referral Tags
JULY: Fourth of July Sparkler or Glow Stick Tags
AUGUST: Back to School Gift Tags
SEPTEMBER: Reese’s Referral Tags
OCTOBER: Halloween Treat Cards
NOVEMBER: Gratitude Gift Tags
DECEMBER: Holiday Candy Bar Wrappers

If you would rather select a printable that will work for any season, this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup referral tag or Extra Gum referral tag would be a great place to start!

3. Focus on Your Audience. As mentioned before, who you choose to distribute your pop-by gift to will have a direct effect on the amount and quality of the referrals you’ll receive. Clients who you have worked with in the past year are a great place to start. After that, spend some time following up with clients you haven’t spoken to recently. You can choose to connect with email marketing, direct mail marketing, texting, or perhaps calling them. Then you can slowly add them into your pop-by distribution rotation!

After you have determined the best candidates for a pop-by, use the Pop-By Tracking Sheet to list client’s names and group them by location. You’ll save yourself time, gas, and money when you visit clients in close proximity to one another in a single trip.

Popping by someone’s home every month may be a bit too much, so spreading your list out to be able to visit once or twice a year is a better way to go. For example, you might visit 20 homes in March and another 20 in April.

What About Safety During The Pandemic?

With the pandemic still presenting a threat, safety is a valid concern. Even while practicing social distancing, it’s possible neither you nor your clients will feel comfortable with popping by. That’s okay.

Another option would be to leave your small gift on your clients’ doorsteps, then call or text them the next day to ensure they got it. That’s two touchpoints for the price of one (assuming your clients don’t reach out to you first!).  

The easiest way to track your pop-by plan! Click this image for your free download.

Tracking your ROI

We recommend using the Pop-By Tracking Sheet or other method to track the referrals you receive as a result of a pop-by. It will help you validate your time and the money you’ve spent against the ROI. But don’t rely on one month’s data. Track for a few months to get a representative data set.

Reverse engineering or working backwards can also be a great way to determine how effective your pop-by plan is.

Start by having a goal in mind of how many referrals from pop-bys you want to receive. If your goal is 20 referrals this year, and you figured out that you get 1 referral for every 15 pop-bys, then you can adjust the amount of pop-bys accordingly.

Determining a strategy that works well for you is the best place to start when starting your pop-by referral marketing. Take the above tips into consideration and start raking in those referrals!

Resources

Pop-By Tracking Sheet
Click here to get your free sheet to help you plan your initial strategy and track your results!

Free Pop-By Printables
You can visit this site for a library of free downloads for every industry!

 

Written by Chelsea Kirk