For most residential builders, referrals are a crucial way of getting new business. When a past client refers you to someone else, that referral holds more weight with the new client than an impartial referral from a third party website or a name they found online.
Every satisfied client can eventually lead to more clients over time. But you can’t simply rely on chance, goodwill or your work speaking for itself. You have the opportunity to do more to encourage each client you interact with to become a referring client in the future.
This may sound like a chore, but it’s actually easier than seeking out new clients. When you already have a relationship with a homeowner, half the battle is already won. But there are a few more steps you can take to help increase your number of referrals.
While your client may have hired you for one specific job, taking the time to meet their unacknowledged needs as well can go a long way toward building goodwill and growing your business. Sometimes known as upselling, done correctly, this strategy makes your client feel cared for while leading to higher sales.
Make sure to offer your reasoning behind the upsell, such as better windows will save them energy and make their home more comfortable, and you’ll increase their trust in you.
In turn, this leads to higher sales and more income. It also leaves clients feeling good about the interaction and the project. This client is now more likely to refer you in the future because they feel that you put their needs and their home first.
Take the time to see where a suggestion or improvement may help. This simple strategy will not only help grow your business now but in the future, as well.
Chances are high that if you do great work for a client they'll recommend you to their friends and family. But you can encourage clients further by implementing a referral program, such as sending a gift basket or gift card for each referral.
Make a print out of your program details and be sure to give it to them at the end of the project. Display it prominently on your website or social media page to continuously remind clients that the program exists.
This may sound simple, but many builders simply don’t ask or don’t know when to ask for referrals. By working in the referral conversation at the end of every positive and successful project completion, you put the idea into your client’s head at the right time.
If you bring up your referral program at the end of the project, every time someone admires your client’s new home, the client will remember you and your referral request. This means that the next time someone mentions to that client that they are thinking of building a new home or asks for a recommendation, your name comes up first.
The key here is in the timing. Make sure that you are making the referral request at the end of the project and that the conversation that preceded it was positive. If the client is happy, thanking you for the work or expressing satisfaction, this is the time to ask. If, however, the client is concerned about something or seems dissatisfied, wait until you have addressed the issue first.
Social media makes it easy to not only share pictures or videos of your projects but also tag others in your posts. This is a great way to both show off a completed project and to brag about your client.
Tagging a client in a post featuring their build will make them feel special and also allow anyone following the client to also see your post. This expands your audience and is a great way to potentially gain referrals. Friends of your client will see the beautiful finished home and be prompted to contact you directly.
Plus, it gives your client the opportunity to comment on the post about the great work you did and how much they enjoyed working with you. It’s an instant review that everyone who looks at your posts will see.
However, be sure to ask for your client's permission before tagging them in any social media post as they may prefer to keep their project private.
Referrals are integral to the way that many builders do business. You need those personal recommendations to set you apart from the many faceless names on third-party referral websites. Directly asking clients for referrals may be uncomfortable at first, but over time you'll find it becomes second-nature.
If you're starting a new project and need assistance with high-quality material selection, contact Brand-Vaughan Lumber. The choice of materials you use on your client's projects has a significant impact on the final result, and a project that is well-done is one that will get referrals.