Referral Marketing: Winning Strategies for Generating Business

Interview: Dwight Holcomb.

Dwight Holcomb is a marketing guru who can explore the latest digital video marketing strategies that can excite your audience and help them to reach and surpass their business goals.

Talking Points from Dwight Holcomb 
on Referral Marketing:

Benefits of Referral Marketing Over
Other Types of Small Business Marketing

  • TIME: Immediate pool of potential leads found from existing and past clients and colleagues.
  • MONEY: There is no cost to simply ask your current contacts for an introduction.
  • NETWORK EFFECT: A referral campaign can easily increase your reach and market awareness exponentially. Remember the old shampoo commercials, “. . . and she’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends . . . and so on, and so on, and so on . . . ”

How to Create an Effective Referral Marketing Program

KISS: Keep It Simple Silly. Don’t overthink it or delay starting by trying to create some complex campaign. Make it easy . . . but get it done.

  • Be Brief: Just ask a quick question. “Hi John, Just following up on a few items. Would you be opposed to a 15-minute call this Thursday at 10AM?”
  • Make an offer: Determine if you can offer a referral fee, a commission, or some attractive incentive as a “Thank you” for the referral.
  • Send an email: A simple e-mail campaign, asking a one-line question to get them onto a call is one of the best methods.
  • Pick up the phone: The very best method is just picking up the phone and calling your top 3 referral sources directly. A lot can be uncovered on a phone call.

Pitfalls Small Business Should Avoid When
Implementing a Referral Marketing Program

  • Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is just ONE marketing option in a good marketers tool kit. Do not rely only on WOMM. A good profitable marketing mix should be an umbrella of a number of campaigns, each yielding results that help the sum total of all campaigns to be successful. Be sure you have a structure that allows for a healthy percentage of leads to come from each individual campaign so that if any one campaign starts to decline or fails, there are back-up campaigns.
  • Stay away from time-wasting clients and activities. The purpose is to get a quick shot in the arm of filling the funnel fast. If there are complaints or distracting side-projects that surface as a result of this type of campaign, be sure to have a system or a team in place to quickly address these issues. Do not get sucked into a time vortex of issues and drama. Focus on the best fit, highest yielding prospects that come out of each call.

Other Essential Tips

A current and past customer referral outreach campaign is one of the absolute best methods of filling up the pipeline with some immediate, “low-hanging fruit.”  There is now advertising cost needed to simply put together a high-volume outreach to all current and past customers to accomplish three top objectives:

    • Make sure they are a happy customer and find out if they have other projects you can submit for.
    • Ask for an “introduction” (not a referral) to “anyone else who might benefit from your solution.”
    • Ask for a customer testimonial. Social proof is king!


Available for Interviews: Dwight Holcomb.

Dwight W. Holcomb is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller The Lean CMO: How Small Marketing Budget Can Produce Big Results, is a Member of the Forbes Business Council and the host of the business television show, “SaaS CEO Success TV.” The show airs on the C-Suite TV Network which has global distribution in over 59 million households and more than 90 million views per month.

Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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