What do you give your customers for referrals?

Referrals are one of the best ways to create new sign business. When a client is happy with your sign making work and speaks well of you to others, you are more than likely going to receive more business. People talking to other people about your sign making -- that is what you want to have happen. So if a client raves about you to all their friends and generates business for you, how do you show your appreciation?

There are a variety of ways to do so, and it depends on what kind of person you are and what kind of business you run. One common way to express gratitude for a referral is with a promotional gift. You might offer a discount on a product, a coupon for later use, or some other cash-style reward. I have heard of companies offering free lunches or giving gift cards as rewards for referrals.

If you are offering a cash reward or a discount make sure you are charging enough to cover it. Many people forget to budget such rewards and don’t realize that they are actually losing money by offering them.

Some may find such rewards a little on the cheesy side. If you aren’t the kind of person who feels comfortable giving out money-based incentives, you might think about having freebies to hand out to say thanks. Items such as magnets, pens, and small notepads have a twofold purpose: they can show your appreciation and also do a bit of advertising for you if you print your logo and company information on them. Be careful with these kinds of items, though, as they walk a fine line between being cool and being tacky.

Another way to show gratitude that often is overlooked is with a simple thank you card. Oftentimes a few kind words go a long way… of course a nice gift card doesn’t hurt. Remember, though, the personal touch of a card directly from you as the owner or from one of your managers can help your clients specifically remember you. It also shows a genuine personal interest, which is a lot more important than most people realize. Don't underestimate a simple thank you card.

Combining a personal thank you note with an additional bonus item might just be the winning combination as far as referral rewards go. Tailor your rewards for each customer and you’ll surely come up with a thank you system that keeps your clients singing your praises. Well that's enough of my jabber... what do you give your clients for referrals?