Home » Getting a Referral ー Winning the Competition

Getting a Referral ー Winning the Competition

by Uneeb Khan

Do you know that up to 60% of your new business partners might resort to your services because they got positive feedback from their acquaintances? A word-to-mouth way of advertising is still highly valued. More than that, it’s becoming more and more essential with the growing importance of such terms as “brand” and “reputation”. A decent business lead company like Belkins doesn’t miss an opportunity to implement referrals in its work, so we pay great attention to generating them.  Let’s talk about what a referral is and why it is necessary to get it.

A business referral is when someone in your network recommends your product or service. This person could be a friend, family member, business owner, or any other connection that could benefit from your product or service. Word-of-mouth marketing is a great way to generate b2c or b2b leads. It can either be natural or as a result of a conscious referral strategy.

Why Does It Work?

There are many ways to get a successful business lead, but a client referral strategy turns out to be one of the most effective. The reason for that is simple. It allows key decision-makers (KDM), to move through the sales process faster and be willing to pay more to receive a better service.

Referral sales strategies can also increase the devotion of customers to your company. If your clients have trusted information from a reliable referral source, this helps them to begin their journey through the sales funnel.

How to Get Referrals from Existing Customers

As has been stated above, referring clients is crucial to winning a new audience and retaining loyal customers. Sometimes sales teams often struggle to obtain positive feedback. This might happen due to the lack of experience or mistakes that have been made while negotiating the conditions of cooperation. Another weak point is appointment setting. If done wrong, you will have to resort to b2b appointment setting services. To avoid the mistakes, let’s sort things out and discuss some tips concerning referrals.

Ask the Right Customer at the Right Time

A company’s referral strategy can be prone to pitfalls. It is important to act timely. Referring to customers who are unhappy with the products or services of your company is a bad idea. It won’t work out in your favor. It’s also not the time to make a referral request if your sales team has just signed on a customer. They don’t yet know if they are satisfied with your company.

Such requests should be made only if the client is satisfied with the quality of your services. Also, ensure that they have worked with you personally. Clients who are happy with the support provided by your company are more likely to recommend you to other businesses within their network. The perfect thing is that it goes like a chain reaction. If you work well, people will find you sooner or later.

Customer success reps often ask for referrals from clients during monthly check-ins. However, a more effective way to get the right customers is to make referral-focused phone calls and send referral request emails. Many B2B companies create templates for referral emails that customer success representatives can send to clients. Thus, it becomes an element of a b2b email lead generation strategy. It is important to create email templates that align with the client’s product or service when designing email referrals. This allows your sales team to personalize every email, making clients feel that the messages were created just for them.

Create a Customer-Focused Referral Pitch

Sales teams often view referrals from customers as what they can do for them. What if the referral pitch was reframed to focus on the customer’s benefit? Your customer is a potential referral source. This will make your business and you look professional and trustworthy.

B2B businesses can be solely built on networking and offering business opportunities to others who do business with them. Let’s say you have car problems and want to take them to your local car repair shop. Your repair shop claims that the transmission is the problem, but they lack the expertise or tools to fix it. They will refer you to a car repair shop that is trained in the repair of car transmissions. Both car repair shops are seen as leaders in their field and this puts them in a positive light.

Share Unique Digital Marketing Content

Email templates can be used as marketing collateral to request client referrals, as we have already mentioned. It’s important to send referral request emails that include unique digital marketing content that clients can share with their networks. This marketing collateral helps build trust with other businesses and top-of-mind awareness. Besides, it will be a fine addition to your sustainable b2b email lead generation tactics. If you want to know about other ways of lead generation, you can learn more at Belkins io.

These are the examples of digital content that you can share with your clients to encourage them to refer:

  • The links to webinars or seminars on a topic that interests you in a particular target market.
  • A sell-sheet on a topic or concept that is trending in the industry
  • Blog posts thought leadership about the product or service of your company
  • Posts on social media about pain points in target markets

While social media is getting more and more powerful as a means of lead generation, email outreach is still widely used nowadays. To make it even more effective, it’s important that every message is delivered to the right person. To avoid finding your perfectly structured messages in a spam box, you might try to use special software that tracks email deliverability. There are several services of that kind on the market but we recommend paying attention to https://folderly.com/. It has flexible tools with wide compatibility. A built-in spam checker goes as a fine addition to the list of bonuses as well.

Don’t Forget about the Incentives

Although it is great to give referrals out for the purpose of being a good business friend, it doesn’t always work as a reliable sales strategy. You can increase your referral sales by offering an incentive for customers who refer your company to others. An incentive can help you grow your referral program, as existing clients will also reap the benefits of recommending your company to their networks.

Referral rewards can be anything from a discount on your current product/service cost to an additional product/service at no extra charge. If the client is satisfied with your company, they may consider establishing a long-lasting business relationship.

B2B companies often offer other incentives to their clients for generating referrals. These include local business gift cards or lunch for the office. The best thing about referral rewards is the flexibility to make them whatever you like. It’s important to pick a reward that is relevant to your target market and matches their values.

There is a good example of that strategy taken from a movie. Do you remember the scene in Christmas Vacation, where Clark Griswold expects a large bonus from his boss to build a swimming pool for his family? He was given a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club if you haven’t seen it yet. Although this is a scene about an end-of-the-year bonus, it is still relevant to the referral incentive scenario since he wouldn’t have worked so hard to become a member of the Jelly of the Month Club. Ensure that the incentive you offer is appealing to your clients.

Create a Customer Loyalty Program

Customers who have been with your company for a long time are more likely to recommend you to others than customers who have just started. You can show your appreciation for devoted customers by creating a customer loyalty program. Such clients can receive discounts and promotions that will help them keep their relationship with you.

Let’s say you are a cleaning product manufacturer and partner with local commercial cleaners to provide their cleaning products. You can offer your cleaning company partners new or more products through a customer loyalty program. They save money by continuing to buy their cleaning products from your company.

Take Advantage of the Power of Social Media

B2B companies can use social media to generate leads. Social media is a great way to generate referrals. You can search for clients online and you can verify their qualifications. Social media allows sales teams to look at potential KDMs’ LinkedIn profiles and view referrals. This allows your sales team to learn more about the company and to find common interests with KDM’s.

Social media can be used to send clients personalized messages about becoming a referee. Social media, in addition to phone calls and emails, is another way to build and maintain relationships with clients.

Your marketing team can also post social media content encouraging customers to tag their business referrals. Here is an example of a social media post that you can use to promote your referral marketing strategy.

LinkedIn can be used to connect with KDMs and businesses that meet your customer requirements. Through the site, you can search for potential business opportunities through existing client connections. This is how you approach this referral method:

1. Use the search bar at top of the page to find the information you are looking for

2. Choose “People” from the drop-down menu

 3. Filter your search using second-degree connections

4. To further filter potential referrers, you can also filter by industry, title, keywords relevant, and market region

You can use this information to strategize, find the perfect referral candidate, and then bring it up with your customer via the phone, email, or personal message. This is where appointment setting techniques become really important.

Appointments and Referrals Are Connected

If your sales reps understand the needs of the target audience, the chances for referrals are increasing. Some businesses prefer to hire lead generation agencies that often come to offer a b2b appointment setting pay per appointment strategy. Though it is perfectly viable, isn’t it easier to enhance the way your conduct appointments on your own? Here are some useful b2b appointment setting tips to follow:

  • Contact your prospects at a regular time. Some specialists claim messaging at 6 am is a good idea. Your clients might be early birds but it’s better to stick to a more conventional schedule.
  • Use various kinds of delivering information. Phone calls, messaging, conference calls – everything will do.
  • Share the valuable content for your target audience to involve them in a further discussion of it.

If done properly, a good appointment has all the chances of turning into a referring prospect.

Negative Feedback Is Possible

Sometimes clients feel uncomfortable referring other businesses to them. That’s okay. It could be that they have had great service providers in the past, but not for their referrals. Accept a client’s refusal to refer you. Don’t force them into something that they aren’t comfortable with. Too many referral requests can negatively affect the perception of your company and result in losing clients. Don’t be way too upset if you have to face the mispleased customer. It might have happened not because it was your personal fault. Sometimes people have a bad mood and just want to be alone for a while. Your manager can’t predict such rainy days since he has referrals targets to achieve. So, we advise you to keep your head cool and go on without losing morale.

Final Thoughts

Referrals are a key component of any lead generation strategy. It is essential that you ask for referrals often and effectively, as B2B companies receive a large portion of their business opportunities via referrals. These tips will help you improve your referral sales strategy. Don’t hesitate to implement them in your working flow and share the results with us. Feel free to contact the Belkins Marketing Group for help in generating leads and setting B2B sales appointments.

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