I don’t really think that you can name a better way to promote your business than referrals. Traditionally called “Word of Mouth”, referrals are crucial to boost your sales strategy. But the only way to channel your referral program in the right direction is by doing it in the systematic and organized manner.
But what hinders salespeople in transforming their sales through the referral program is their outdated methods. Which leads to little to no results. When in fact, referrals can be the best way to skyrocket your sales.
Use the following B2B referral strategies, implement them systematically and start doubling your sales.
1. Are You Calling Them ‘Referrals’?
You would think, “Of course, what else would I call them?”
But there are a lot of people who actually don’t like the term “referral” or simply do not know what referral actually means.
Shocking, I know.
Many of your customers might mistake referrals for reference or assume that you are looking for some names. And you have to agree that ‘referral’ is rather vague because it can be anything – consultation, reference, names and more.
But you are not looking for just anything, are you? What you really want is an introduction. So, why call it a ‘referral’? Just point out clearly that you want to be introduced to the executive of XYZ firm. When you cut your chase shorter, you can make a lot of progress this way. Because now you and the referee, both are clear about the main goal.
So, stop calling it ‘referrals’. Remember it when you are on the hunt for ‘referrals’ next time. Otherwise you will probably end up knocking on multiple doors, and in the end might not get a desirable outcome.
2. Create Great Content
Creating great content paves the way to your customer’s heart. So, why don’t you forsake the traditional referral program strategy and leverage the power of content?
Let me tell you exactly how to do that.
All you have to do is to create informative content and send it to your clientele via various mediums like – email, social media. And ask your clients to share your content which will result in more and more people sharing your content on multiple platforms.
Visual and written content is the best way to prove your mettle in the market. It exudes your passion and credibility. Plus, content reels in the customers for you by getting shared, resulting in more referrals.
3. Offer Incentives To Your Clients
First and foremost, your clients are not gonna give you a referral until and unless they love your brand. If you have made them love your brand, then you are halfway there.
However, to compel them to take another step or speed up your referral program, you can offer incentives to your clients.
What sort of incentives can you use to get speedy referrals?
A discount offer.
Gift cards. Say, for example, if they refer you to five people, you will offer them a $50 Amazon gift card.
This is a win-win situation for everyone. Your client gets a little something extra for their effort and you get potential clients.
4. Be Specific About Your Referral
You are asking for an introduction from your client, but are you doing it the right way? Before, getting down to the right way, let’s talk about what the wrong way of asking for referrals is.
Far too often, salespeople are not even clear about what sort of introduction they need. They say something along the lines,
“Hey, do you know someone who might be a good fit for my brand? If yes, it would be great if you could make an introduction”
If nothing else, it makes you come across as someone who needs training in sales. Because, it’s like rather than doing some research yourself, you are putting the burden on your client who may or may not help you out.
After all, you should know what sort of client will suit you better, shouldn’t you? Make an ideal customer profile and see what type of prospects you deal with. Then accordingly, asks for the introduction by giving out clear examples about the type of prospects you are interested in dealing with. Give out imperative information like – job title, their niche, their revenue, and more.
5. Frame Your Message As A Request
When you ask for a referral, you are basically asking your clients to help you out. So, why not phrase it as a request for help?
Because if you make a statement, people might still help you out, but they will be less inclined to do so. On the other hand, people love helping people out and if your client likes you and your brand, they will a lot more inclined to help you out.
This is how you can go about it,
“I was hoping to get your help with …”
This will snowball into a conversation first and compel the other person to help you.
6. Contact Your Entire Network
When it comes to asking for referrals, don’t leave out even a single client from your network. That is, don’t limit yourself to just a few clients when asking for referrals.
Most salespeople only focus on their existing customers. But, you can also leverage your connection with past customers, professional acquaintances, friends of friends — basically anyone you can directly contact.
It is as simple as that – the more people you ask, the chances of getting an introduction increase accordingly.
7. Give a Referral
The best way to get a referral is by giving a referral to the person whose help you need. If you anyone who might be interested in the product or services your client provides, then refer your client to that someone. Do it even if your client hasn’t asked for your help. This way, your client will surely keep this in mind, and go out of their way to refer your services.
These were some simple ways to channel your referral program in the right direction. Once you implement these strategies in your referral process, you are sure to see your sales getting doubled in no time.
Deepti is a senior content writer with AeroLeads. She spends a lot of time brainstorming ideas and writing marketing and sales content. She also has a knack for writing and reading about politics and prevalent social issues and regularly pens letters to the Editor of The Hindu newspaper. When she is not working, you’ll find her socializing with friends or binge-watching Netflix. (And devouring sushi).