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Across the large majority of trade business owners that we speak to on a weekly basis, many bring up ‘word of mouth referrals’ as the primary (or sometimes, even only) form of marketing that they rely on for their business.

They deliver a good service, and then hope to receive a referral from this customer later down the track!

But here’s the problem…

This relies purely on you HOPING that your customers talk positively about you to others…

Meaning it is an unintentional and unplanned approach, and unfortunately, people are BUSY.

They are happy with your service, they like you and your business, but once you leave, life ramps up again and they likely get busy and forget about you…

So, any referral that might trickle through is like a free lunch, sure it’s nice when it comes your way and you appreciate it, but do you really want to rely on it to feed you and your family forever?

If you’re overly reliant on this approach, you’re putting the fate of your business in other people’s hands – hoping they like you and remember you often enough to regularly send new business your way.

This is an extremely slow and unreliable way of building your business and there is STILL no guarantee that they will send you any referrals, let alone quality referrals.

This is NOT a good plan.

What you need to do is build and maintain a far more proactive and robust referral marketing system that actively orchestrates and stimulates referrals, instead of just hoping and waiting for them to happen.

This type of system can be depended on time after time to produce quantifiable, measurable and predictable results for your business.

Just think, if ONLY 10% of your customers referred eight people, your business would grow by 80%. If 25% of your customers referred four people to you, you would double your business. And if 50% of customers referred eight people, your business would grow by 400%.

Here are four primary reasons why you need to build a referral system:

1. You can leverage the credibility of your referral source and the personal relationships that they have spent hundreds and thousands of hours nurturing with the people they know; and

2. Building your business through referral sources is one of the lowest costs, least risk, and highest leverage client acquisition methods that you can use to win more work;

3. If your customers are happy with what you have done for them, they will likely be pleased to tell others about you, whereby their own loyalty to you becomes strengthened;

4. 78% of consumers trust peer-referrals over any other recommendation, endorsement, advertisement, or other forms of marketing. So, it’s absolutely critical that you harness the power of the referral and leverage it in your business more often.

So, how do you do it?

Well there are many ways, but if you currently have no strategy in place… start with this:

Ask for the referral! Either in person, through a letter, a follow up email, a social media message or phone call etc. and then;

Incentivise it with rewards: This might be a complimentary service, a free inspection, fuel vouchers, movie tickets etc.

If you're an electrician, plumber, painter, carpenter, or any other trade business owner who is looking for assistance with the marketing within your businessclick here to learn more about how our team can help!


Bayley Peachey | Accountant & Trade Business Coach

About the author

Growing up in a family full of tradesman and accountants with a business savvy father, my childhood involved heavy machinery, dirty overalls and years of hand’s on insight into the family business. Being fast paced and dynamic in...


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