What incentives do you offer for referrals?
Now I am not saying that you have to offer bonuses or commissions to people who pass new clients your way, but I imagine that by doing so you will find a few more people who start thinking about it more seriously and being more proactive.
Affiliate marketing is a multi million pound business around the world, and more and more companies are turning to affiliate marketing as a way of generating low cost leads that add to their prospect funnel.
Companies that offer affiliate schemes include Amazon, Expedia, insurance firms, mobile phone sellers… you name a product or service, and you’ll be able to find a company in that field that has an affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, ever since Bob first said “Tell ‘em Bob sent ya!”. Now I have no idea who Bob is, or whether he realised that he had created a whole new style of marketing, but marketing firms quickly picked up on it and found a way to incorporate it into their clients businesses.
So why is affiliate marketing a good idea?
Well, you only pay for your marketing as and when you make a sale.
Imagine a marketing agency coming to you and saying that they will work for you for free until they make you a sale. Well, that is effectively what you have with an affiliate marketing program.
Once set up, can you just sit back and wait for the prospects to come knocking?
Well, not quite. You need to encourage your affiliates to be proactive in their referrals and condition them to talk about your business.
You also need to make it as easy as possible. Of course, there are online systems if you have a suitable business, but it can be a lot more simple. Think about the flyer distributors that line Covent Garden promoting various restaurants handing you a leaflet with their name on the back to identify them (but maybe not be quite as intrusive with your approach?).
Maybe you could find someone who regularly comes into contact with your prospects and ask them to refer you. I was in the bank the other day and the manager started talking about an accountant. If I needed an accountant, I would have taken advantage of the opportunity. I would win because I had found a reputable service. The accountant would win because they just found a new client with no effort and very low cost. And the banker would win as he would have got a little thank you from the accountant. Win-Win-Win!
Think about how you can get other people selling or marketing for you and add a new prospecting stream into your marketing plan.