How to Leverage Female Business Owners As Referrers

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According to the Enterprise Council on Small Business, women as a group generally show more of a propensity to tell everybody about a positive experience they've had with a business supplier.  The graph below shows that women are more likely to spread word of mouth than their male counterparts.

Positive word of mouth is extremely desirable for marketers. A referral is one of the most important factors that influence a small business owner's purchasing decision. Let's understand why women are better referrers...

Women tend to be more connected to their peers than men. As well as being active participants in their industry associations, women are more likely than men to be active users of online social networking sites and to be members of their town or city’s chamber of commerce. 

What does this mean for you as a marketer? They are frequently interacting with members of other segments of the small business market that you may be targeting.

So make sure you have a specific plan on how you will leverage referral business from your female customers. Here are 5 hints on how to improve your referrals from your customers - especially your female customers:

  1. Ask for 3 referrals from every customer - make a followup call a few days after the sale and ask for other contacts who may benefit from your products or services
  2. Give each referrer a small gift as a thank-you after they have provided you with information - best gift is more of the product or service you sell
  3. Ask for permission to publish the names of those who have recommended you on your website or newsletter - first name and suburb is all you need and how many other people they introduced, e.g., "Sally from Carlton was so impressed she recommended 2 of her friends to ..."
  4. When you call the contacts make sure you tell them upfront that it is a referred call and who referred you.  And, make sure you call or send them a personal note.
  5. To encourage the contacts to try your product or service have a promotion ready for them that is time-limited and is compelling - trial is one of the best ways to increase conversion.

Chris Pattas

Chris Pattas lives in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. He is happily married with two children. Chris is a successful business leader who enjoys helping organisations reach their full potential. Whether it is driving greater profit or sales, growing market share in competitive industries, inspiring executives to achieve great things, negotiating compelling business deals or working as a board member implementing exciting change programs, he knows how to get the most out of any organisation. Chris has worked in various product and service industries including: advertising, software, IT&T, travel & tourism, utilities and telecommunications. His interests and expertise include: leadership & strategy, sales & marketing, online & social media, science & technology, travel & tourism, photography and music.