Is your credit union missing out on referrals?

by: Sylvia Montgomery

Referrals have long been an essential part of how firms get new business. Even with the growth of digital marketing and the changing habits of buyers, generating more referrals has remained a top priority for many firms.

Now, when you hear “referral marketing,” what type of initiative do you envision? Chances are, you’ve been focusing on referrals from existing clients – and you’re not alone. Most firms tend to focus their efforts on increasing referrals specifically from clients and other familiar sources. But this leaves big opportunities to generate more business on the table.

In order to understand exactly how firms approach referral marketing, we surveyed 523 professional services firms across a number of industries. The majority of our respondents were decision-makers within their firms, with owners, partners or principals making up 59.9 percent of the sample size. What we found was, despite putting so much emphasis on client referrals, 81.5 percent of providers have received a referral from someone who wasn’t a client.

This tells us that referrals from non-clients might be more common than we think. Client referrals – or experience-based referrals – necessitate some type of prior relationship or direct experience with your company. However, there are two other types of referrals that could have a positive impact in the growth of your firm.

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