CRM Plus


Most are familiar with the term Customer Relationship Management,

usually referred to as CRM. A recent Google search on CRM generated

43 million returns. The importance of managing customer

relationships is unquestioned. Within the traditional CRM is CRM

PLUS© that needs full attention: Customer Referrals Marketing. CRM PLUS© is the

focus of this article. We titled this customer relationship as “plus” because the

Lifetime Revenues from referred customers are far superior to other ‘new

customers’ acquisition programs.

Reviewing Customer Referrals Marketing strategies of industry leaders is a

powerful tool to expand your own customer referrals programs. The insurance

industry is one that has a proven customer referrals leadership record and its

strategies can be applied to most organizations. One advantage of comparing

leadership strategies to your own is that you can choose the features that

compliment your referral programs without starting from scratch. CRM PLUS©

strategies are excellent supplements to most Customer Referrals Marketing


Understanding your customer’s attitude about making referrals allows you to

efficiently allocate marketing resources. Customers usually fall into three referral

opportunity groups. This chart Customer Referral Profile shows how these groups

are equally divided.

“33% of customers say they will

make referrals, but don’t(1)

Additional attention and applying more resources to this opportunity group will

help keep these customers engaged.

The insurance industry has pioneered programs to keep customers engaged.

Engaged customers are more likely to follow through with their referral

commitments. Getting referrals from committed customers is more cost effective

than trying to shift the attitude of customers who virtually never make referrals.

Customers who always tend make referrals will continue doing so when you

provide great products and services at competitive prices. Understanding your

customers’ referral commitment attitudes and keeping them engaged will help

you build the platform for effective and enduring Customer Referrals Marketing


Under performing referral strategies can be improved by approaching referrals

through a form of advertising to sales and marketing personnel:

Monthly electronic messages about new referral topics


Shared Comments about each referral topic

This Referral Reminder snippet is an illustration of an effective way to initiate

asking customers for referrals, “If you have family members, friends or

colleagues that may need my products and services and you recommend me to

them, I promise you that I (my company) will treat them exactly like I have

treated you.” Every circumstance is different and everyone has their own unique

communications styles, but making this promise will help strengthen your

request for referrals. Sales organizations that are fully committed to referrals

selling are better equipped to keep their customers more fully engaged and

making referrals.

In conclusion, one of three customers say they will make referrals, but DO NOT

follow through. Sales organizations that keep that group of customers engaged

will help increase customer referrals. Customer referral snippets are effective

tools that will compliment your current referral strategies. Titles of other CRM

PLUS© snippets can be viewed at Titles.

About the author: Charles L. Wood, President of

Referral Sales Associates is based in Chicago,

Illinois. Information about the Referral Actions

Series and CRM PLUS© and can be obtained at:

(1) How Valuable Is Word of Mouth? V. Kumar, J. Andrew Petersen and Robert P. Leone Article

© Referral Sales Associates 2013-14 All Rights Reserved

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