Referrals make for great business. There’s nothing that makes me happier than old, satisfied customers sending fresh ones in my direction. And for those of you wondering how to acquire a stream of referrals in a relatively short amount of time, here are a five of the most important things you’ll need to know,
For optimum results, your referral program should focus on delivering you leads from several channels simultaneously. However, setting up such a system will require you to dabble in a host of lead generation portals including social media, bookmarking, etc.
In fact, social media is one of the fastest ways to go viral right now, even among B2B circles. All this will also require you to create a consistent, powerful online presence so if you don’t have one yet, get cracking.
- Referrals aren’t simply the result of a single delighted customer. It’s a carefully coordinated process that needs to be studied, understood, tested, measured, tweaked and re-implemented. Each referral comes with at a cost and you’re going to have strike a balance between what you expects to reward each referrer against what you hope to make out of the sale. Also, you may want to implement a lead qualification process to help scale rewards to the profitability of each referral.
- You won’t be drawing any business in if you don’t get the word out. Advertise your referral rewards program on your website and via e-publications like email newsletters, press releases, sales letters and brochures. And advertise often – a single showing isn’t always enough to burn the image of your rewards and benefits into the average user’s mind.
- Often you’ll have grizzled, pitch-worn sales reps tell you that you should ask for a referral the minute you close a deal. Their reasoning usually goes a little something like this – “When you close the deal is when the customer’s sense of obligation is at its highest.”Well, I beg to differ.