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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Series: How To Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 10

Last week's referral tip was about troubleshooting.  Now we're to our last post in the series!

Referral Fire Starter Tip #10: What NOT to Do.
We’ve spent some time talking about how to fix some of the things that can go wrong with your referral program; now, let’s discuss some things you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Any one of these pitfalls can sabotage your referral success:
  1. Not following up. We talked earlier about the need to actually do something with the names and numbers you collect. If you don’t use them, it’s the same as sticking quarters in the ground and waiting for them to grow into dollar bills. You need to follow up and connect in some way with these referrals!
  2. Not automating your process. Your referral process should run as smoothly – and as automated – as possible. If you’re collecting referrals electronically, there should be an automatic process for them to get forwarded on to you. Don’t let your referrals get bogged down at any point; a kink in the hose means a kink in your business.
  3. Not keeping it simple. The more complex your process is, the more time and energy it will take to administer it. If you have to choose between keeping it simple or making it really cool, go with simple. Your referral program should be a money maker for you, not a resource swallower.
  4. Not telling people about it. No one is going to go out of their way to take part in a program they don’t know about. Take every opportunity to let people know how they and their friends can benefit from your referral program.
  5. Not paying attention to changes around you. If your client profile is changing, or your market is changing, or the products and services your clients are demanding are changing, you need to be aware of that. Your referral program won’t rescue you from being behind the times in other areas of your business.
  6. Not valuing referrals and treating them like gold. The highest compliment a client can pay you is to refer a friend or family member to you. If they do and that friend has a bad experience, it reflects poorly on them. When someone sends an acquaintance your way, you need to go above and beyond to make sure that referral has a great experience. Not only will that make you look good, it’ll make the original client look good, too.

As you can see, creating a strong referral program isn’t rocket science. In fact, the more simple your program is, the easier it is for you to administer and for your clients to understand.
But don’t be deceived by the simplicity; referrals are the lifeblood of any serious businessperson. Having clients who constantly feed quality leads your way is like having a sales force of hundreds of additional people – without having to pay them a salary or benefits!
Keep the tips and suggestions in this series on-hand to make sure your referral program is as successful as possible. And when in doubt, go for the most simple solution you can design. That approach is sure to keep your program operating smoothly and easily.

Series wrap up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.

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