Relying solely on referrals is a dangerous strategy – here’s why
Providing a quality product or service can lead to direct or indirect referrals. Direct referrals are when one of your clients tells someone they know about your business and their experience with you, whereas an indirect referral is when someone learns about a positive experience from a client they do not know, such as an online review. Some businesses receive a lot of clients just because of direct and indirect referrals.
But, is having a business model built on attracting clients through referrals enough? And is it even safe? Let’s unpack the details.
A common tale…
When a business gets in touch with our team to discuss web design or marketing services, they are right to ask us about the benefits of what we offer. One of the greatest benefits of professional web design and digital marketing is their ability to help you capture leads. But this isn’t enough for some enquirers, who reply with “I don’t need a website because I get all my leads from referrals”, or “I don’t need to market because I get lots of referrals”.
We don’t doubt that this is true. There are some fantastic businesses out there that have built up a respected and impressive image based entirely on referrals. If you offer great products or offer exceptional services, the news soon spreads.
But this alone isn’t a good enough reason to not invest in a website or online marketing services – and here’s why.
A website increases referral conversion rates
You might be able to track how many of your new clients or enquiries arrived at your business through referrals. But what you cannot track is how many referrals considered your business and decided to look elsewhere. When was a referral not enough to make someone get in touch or make a purchase?
Not having a website will decrease referral conversion rates because it:
- Prevents the referral from accessing more detailed information about products and services
- Makes it harder for the referral to get in touch (most want to send a web message as a first contact)
- And it may even stop the lead from verifying your business, despite the referral
With a professional website, you can maintain engagement with referrals and increase referral conversion rates. Without one, you’re likely losing clients and prospects every month.
Don’t you want to grow?
Another rebuttal against claims that a business doesn’t need a website or marketing services is a simple one – wouldn’t you like more business? Would it not be nice to grow and become more profitable?
A website can generate more interest and enquiries, while modern marketing services can target people who are likely to buy from you. These can add to your existing clients through referrals to make your business bigger.
Some companies worry about this because they are already working at maximum capacity. Adding a website or marketing services will make them and staff too stretched. However, getting a website itself can counter this problem. By making information, appointment bookings and other functions available online, your staff can save time addressing enquiries and completing admin, so they have more time to serve any new clients.
Relying on referrals alone is dangerous
Relying entirely on referrals is a dangerous strategy to adopt. Without a website or active marketing campaigns, the ongoing success of your business is not in your control. Of course, some businesses continue to attract referrals, but there may be times in the year where the number of enquiries decreases and business goes quiet. Having some degree of control is always the smarter and safer option, which is achievable with a website.
Web design and marketing at WEBPRO
Convinced you need a website to maximise business longevity and growth? If you want professional web design services from an agency who knows what they are doing, get in touch with our friendly team. And if you want online marketing services to promote your new site and services, we can help with that too. Learn more by speaking to us today!
Recap: To summarise, we often hear that business owners don’t want a website or marketing services because they are content with the number of referrals they receive. But this lacks control over your business’s destiny and growth - and doesn’t account for all the referrals you lost by not having a website. If you want to increase revenue and save staff time to boot, a website and marketing services are the solution.
P.S. We can also help you market to existing clients and prospects with email marketing services. No stone is left unturned to grow your business.