Advertising and marketing are expensive and time consuming. Of course, they’re necessary for helping your business to grow and flourish. But what if there was a way for you to advertise your screen printing business for little to no cost, and with more success? In fact, there is!
When searching for new vendors or service providers, nearly everyone asks their friends, families and colleagues for referrals. It’s no wonder: When you’re referred to a business by someone you trust, you feel more confident that the business will meet or exceed your expectations. You could wait for satisfied customers to send more customers your way, or you can implement a strategy to grow your screen printing business through word-of-mouth advertising and referrals. Here are some ways to do just that.
The first step in getting referrals is providing service that makes your customers want to refer others to you. That means delivering the products and services on time, and with exceptional customer service. It means answering your customers’ questions in a confident and valuable way. It might also mean going the extra mile, such as gifting your customer a tote bag or two to go with a big order or giving a follow-up call to make sure that they were satisfied with your screen prints.
Your customers know that referrals are good for your business and that you appreciate them, right? Of course, they probably know this, but that doesn’t mean referrals are on their minds. Often getting a referral is as simple as asking. Have a note on your invoices saying that you appreciate referrals, or as you prepare to wrap up an order, ask your customer if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your screen printing services.
You likely have a list of local businesses or organizations you’d like to turn into customers. Cold calls can be effective, but they do have a low success rate. Your better option is to get a referral. To do so, use your existing connections to get to the referrals you want. Identify who you would like to connect with, then think about the people you know who could make an introduction. Most people are happy to make introductions.
You appreciate referrals in your business, and the people you network with appreciate referrals, too. When someone asks you for a recommendation, offer up a referral to one of your connections. Chances are, if you make a concerted effort to make referrals, the people in your network who benefit from those referrals will look to return the favor.
When you do get a referral, don’t just accept it in silence; show the person who made the referral that you appreciate it! Expressing your gratitude can be as simple as sending a thank you card, either on its own or with a small thank-you gift. You also could offer a regular incentive to customers who send referrals your way by offering them a future discount or a future gift with purchase.
Like a lot of marketing efforts, it can take time for a referral strategy to take hold and show rewards. That doesn’t mean it’s not working! Successful word-of-mouth advertising means outlining a strategy for generating referrals and working that strategy consistently. Over time, you’ll notice that more and more of your business is based on referrals, meaning you have to put less time and money into advertising and marketing to grow your screen printing business.