Let’s face it. When it comes to marketing these days marketers want to know just what you’ve done for them lately. Counting and tracking metrics can be a job in and of itself. But there’s a lot of value for you and members when you count chamber referrals. If a business knows how many referrals you’re sending, you become a potential stream of revenue for them.
And that’s worth the yearly dues.
But how do you count all the referrals your chamber is sending members? You need a method that is efficient for you and valuable for the member business. Keep reading below for simple, actionable ideas.
Ideas for Counting Chamber Referrals
Member referrals are a good place to start but there’s no reason you can’t count referrals to other businesses as well. If you don’t refer non-member businesses, what do you do in the case of someone asking for a business recommendation and no member fits the description … but a nonmember does? Do you deny its existence? If you don’t, and you name it, you should think about counting how many of their potential customers you’re helping them land.
- Calling cards. If someone stops into the chamber and asks your recommendations on local businesses, hand them a calling card to present to the business. This alerts the business that the customer is coming their way on your recommendation.
- Message pad. Use one of those “old-fashioned” telephone message pads (the ones that are designed with a rip-off top copy for messages and a permanent log of incoming calls). Log referrals for every call, every walk-in, every conversation where you recommend a business. Tabulate those once a quarter and send them to businesses you’ve referred to often. This will also give you insight into the type of referrals you’re being asked for. You can use this information in an infographic (“70% of our referrals last quarter were…”). Such information can be used to approach non-member businesses in these industries.
- Directory referrals. You should be watching web traffic on your chamber directory to see how many clicks you’re getting for each business. If a business is getting a lot of clicks but not a lot of buys, there’s a disconnect between what people want and what they see on the member site. Work with them to help them solve the problem.
- Newsletters and URLs. If you have a member spotlight in your chamber newsletter or any other link to a member business, you should be tracking how many people click. This includes ads on your site. Yes, some people may click out of curiosity and not an interest in purchasing, but it’s still good to count these referrals (and necessary in ads).
- Sentiment. This idea is a little more conceptual but since we live in an experience economy, it’s important to note any positive sentiment on social media. If you feature or mention a business on your social media platforms and it gets significant likes, comments, or interest of any kind, share this with the business. Don’t assume they saw it. Share a screen capture with them and suggest they share it on their page so their audience sees it as well.
Some executives and directors worry if they count chamber referrals and a business doesn’t receive many it will make them look bad. There’s no need to share referral data if it isn’t in your favor. But if it is, and you’re not sharing it, you’re missing an opportunity to impress.