I doubt there's a business out there who's main source of business over time isn't referral and word of mouth. Yet how often do we ask and encourage our customers to spread the word about us.
I was prompted again to think about this issue when I got this lovely looking promotion from Trendwatching. These are people who not only know the value of referral, they've invested marketing dollars in making it happen. They've spent time and money on both setting up a promotion (design and tech) and incentivising it (with the MacBook - which they probably had to pay for as Apple is quite precious, but perhaps they did a contra, making it far more "zero budget").
And here's the thing. If this promotion gets them the right number of referrals, it will still pay for itself, many times over. And this is a B2B offer, which I love. Because there's no reason business to business marketing cant be creative and fun and a little bit "consumer".
So go put a note in your diary for the times over the next 6 months when you're going to systematically ask your existing customers to refer other customers. Don't leave it to them to think about it- they've got better things to do!