So we all know there is a big difference between a good referral that will help you reach your business goals and a weak one that helps you do nothing. Referrals are about quality, not quantity and you must understand the qualitative difference in order to obtain a successful referral program.
Referrals = Relationships
The foundation of a quality referral is the relationship you have with your customer. You both need to understand each other. A customer or client who doesn't understand your business may misrepresent it to others. This won't get you referrals and may cause you business in the long run.
On the same hand, they need to feel that they fully trust you and can stand by you. They're vouching for you and to some extent their referral affects their credibility with their network.
Communication is KEY
Since it's all about the referrer understanding your business, it's essential that you communicate this well to potential referrers. Tell your referrers exactly what you're looking for. It may be helpful to say something like, 'I need more people like you.' If they can understand why your business appeals to them personally, this can help them identify others who would be good prospects.
Understand the Expectations
The other side of the equation is that you have to understand your customers' or clients' expectations so that you can meet them. You need to rely on data or direct conversation with your prospects to understand this, not what you think you know about them.
You should always aim to exceed their expectations and remember that they assume your interaction with those they refer will be the same or less valuable than the interaction they had with you.
How will you Track It
The best way to separate high-quality and weak referrals is to have a good tracking system in place. You'll see patterns emerge regarding which referrers bring you quality referrals. Measure performance and analyze results to discover what works best.