How to Drastically Boost Referrals – So You’re Never in a Client Dry Spell Again

dry spellLet’s cut right to the chase here. If you want to significantly boost high-quality referral rates, you must impress clients from the very beginning of their interactions with you and continue impressing them indefinitely. It’s really as simple as that.

Here are the 3 key steps, I’ve used in my own business, to impress clients around the clock and get them to refer Hills of Africa Travel to others:

Provide exceptional customer service right off the bat. There have been so many times over the years that I’ve called a professional service company and have either never received a phone call back or heard back from them days later. That’s just not acceptable. Lag time in response can cause you to lose clients, which in turn could mean you are losing thousands of dollars!

So, lesson number one is that if you receive a phone call or email from a prospective client, you MUST follow up. And not within the next few days. You must follow up immediately. Check your email at least twice a day over the weekends to make sure you’re on top of any new inquiries, and check your emails continuously during the week. Ideally, you want to get back to your prospect the same day they sent you an email.

This shows that you are attentive and will handle their needs quickly if they decide to travel with you. So, right off the bat, you’ve made a nice impression by responding quickly.

Blow the client away before, during, and after their travels with you. One of the key factors in increasing referrals is impressing clients on a consistent basis.

The way you do this is by staying in constant communication with the client before they travel with you. For example, if a client is traveling with you in six months, be sure to follow up with them on a regular basis – usually once a month. This let’s the client know that you are thinking about them and are available to answer questions and ensure smooth travels.

Also, during the months before the client travels, be sure to send them pre-travel emails that spotlight packing tips, photography tips, visa and passport information, destination information, and whatever else they need that will prepare them for their journey.

When the client returns home from their trip with you, be sure to give them a call a day or two after they arrive home, asking how their trip was. You also want to come up with a follow-up email campaign for clients who return home from trips with you to ensure you’re staying top of mind to them!

Coming up with gift ideas for your clients before, during, and after they travel with you. Some of the most important times to give gifts to clients is right when they book (I like to call this my “Thank you for booking gift”), and as soon as they arrive to their destination (this could be a bottle of champagne or chocolates and wine waiting for them in their room). For VIP clients, consider giving birthday and holiday gifts for a little added touch.

Handwritten notes and gifts show personalized service, which shows clients that you will provide them with personalized travel experiences. This, in turn, will encourage prospects to share your services with their friends, family, and colleagues, since they fully trust your services and know their loved ones will be in good hands with you.

Discover more about the Keep in Touch Kit and how you can start dramatically boosting referrals today.

6 Time Management Tips that Actually Work

clcokFind your days are just flying by and not much is actually getting done? Or perhaps you spend all your time working on client needs that you don’t even have the time to work on attracting and lining up new business.

Whatever your time road blocks are, my 6 time management tips below will help you get your business and your life on track for success:

1. Track yourself: First step in managing your time effectively is to take a look at regular time wasters you’re facing each day. The best way to do this is to track and write down what you do each day. Do this for one week and be consistent on writing everything down! Yes, it’s a total pain in the butt, but it will help you in the long run, I promise.

At the end of the week, look at your time tracking report and highlight all the time wasters and non-essential tasks (and by non-essential, I mean anything that isn’t bringing in revenue).

2. Delegate what you can: After reviewing your time tracking report, figure out what could be delegated to someone else. If you don’t have a team and find that you can’t get everything you need to get done in a day, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help with publishing blog posts and sending out newsletters. A virtual assistant can also help with posting social media, managing your calendar, entering data, and compiling itineraries.

You could also reach out to a local college or university near you and ask if there are students in the marketing, advertising, or business fields who are available for internships.

Or, let’s say you have a daughter in high school. Ask her to help you write some handwritten notes to clients and prospects! She can then run the notes to the post office for you.

3. Make decisions: Ok, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Duh…..” but really, think about how many times in a day you push something off because you just can’t make up your mind or you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong decision. That is exactly how things don’t get done and how to NOT grow your business. The most successful business owners in the world are quick decision makers and they get things done. Most of the time you won’t know what the outcome is until you try it. And then, you can continue to figure out what works and how to move forward as you go along. The point is though, you must make decisions and you must take action.

4. Set a timer: Can’t seem to crank out those blog posts or newsletters in enough time? Make an appointment with yourself to sit down for 45 minutes (do not get out of your seat!) and just write. Don’t stop to get up and get a beverage or let the dog out – sit and write. Do this at least once every other week. I promise it works! Even if you’re getting antsy and think to yourself “I really don’t want to do this” just notice the thought and push through.

5. Use waiting time wisely: Waiting at the DMV or in a doctor’s office? Bring a notepad and pen and start writing a blog post or newsletter while you wait!! Or bring some cards with you and crank out five thank you or happy birthday cards to clients or vendors.

6. Map out your day: Spend 30 minutes each morning outlining all the tasks that NEED to be done that day. Be sure to schedule high priority to-do items on your calendar and keep those appointments as if they were meetings with clients. Schedule your phone calls and time for checking email around these priority time blocks you set for yourself.

Want to learn more about the Keep in Touch Kit? Reach out to us today at hoainfo@hillsofafrica.com.