How to Get Client Referrals For Any Business .. Including Restaurants.
April 12, 2016
A few months ago I wrote about a guy I mastermind with that has a Client Referral System that Works Like Magic.
His name is Steve Gordon and he was a contributor to volume one of Creating Business Growth. In it he describes how to get referrals, even for those hard to refer businesses. It is a simple system that can be used again and again.
In essence what this referral system does is to make it easy to refer someone without the yuk factor. You know the “yuk” factor. It is when someone says can I refer you to my undertaker or insurance guy. At this stage you will go “yuk”. No one wants to be referred to these guys as they will want to sell us a prepaid funeral or a life policy. It is this certainty of them wanting to sell that we want to avoid (unless we recognise a desperate need for life cover right that moment). So to get referred we need to create a situation where people will not be sold to; a situation where they are given something of value to them.
Of course we want something back; we want their contact details. Here I must caution that this isn’t so that we can try to sell to them every five minutes.
We use their details to keep giving them something of value.
Referrals Systems in Action
Paola from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic recently asked how Steve’s methods could be used to refer clients to his restaurant.
Getting Referrals for a Restaurant is something I’ve done with clients. It is relatively easy.
What I’ve done with several clients is to ascertain what their customers would value as a gift.
In most cases these are either “newsletters” that add value; they might talk about where the meat or fish sourced, which herbs and spices are used and something of their history or it is a recipe card.
For example with the bill we will give out a recipe card for one of the dishes they have just eaten. Each week we produce one or two more and they start to form a collection. If people have enjoyed the food then the recipe helps them build rapport with you. The card always leads to a customer comment and we offer the customer the chance to receive more recipes by email or post. When we send these we ask them if they have any friends interested in food that would like to receive copies as well.
Because we aren’t selling anything they are far more likely to refer us to their friends.
How the Client Referral System Works
When we send out recipe cards we often say we are cooking this dish in the restaurant in certain dates and we find that that drives up bookings. If it doesn’t then you can always offer a small discount if they bring their recipe card with them.
The recipe cards have also lead to people saying they would love to cook the dish but haven’t the confidence. So the restaurant will offer a cookery morning where people come in and, under our tuition, cook their own lunch! You just price accordingly and get more bookings, at the time of year when it is quieter maybe.
The newsletters work in a similar way. I’ve seen spice workshops delivered as a result of articles in the newsletter. These can be on growing the spices or on using them in cooking.
The variations on this basic method of getting referrals that drive profit are innumerable. Printed recipes aren’t too expensive and the email route is even lower cost.
The basic principles described here work in just about any business.
It is a form of advanced thinking you need in your business.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.
And there are more free restaurant marketing tips at http://www.stefandrew.com/stefan-drew/how-to-market-a-restaurant-cafe-or-coffee-shop.html
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