It’s one of the oldest marketing techniques, and in concept, the simplest. Your customers refer your company to their peers, and bingo, you’ve got a solid, qualified lead with reason to trust you. But in most instances, customers don’t talk about your company (at least, not in a good way)—that is—unless you ask.
Darn. You knew there had to be a catch. It’s one of the reasons why only 30% of companies selling B2B fail to have some kind of formal referral program in place. There are other reasons as well. Some are afraid that asking for a referral put too much obligation on their busy customers, or seems too “pushy”. Many have some kind of informal arrangement— when they remember. But when work gets too busy (or “Chuck” who is really good at this stuff, is on vacation), the referring gets dropped. Or worse, a referral is made but not followed upon.
Referrals work for B2B, enough said
No more excuses. B2B referrals are one of the most effective ways to get qualified leads, and there’s no doubt that they influence the sales decision.
Companies with referral programs report 71% higher conversion rates. -Influitive
88% of B2B decision-makers rely on word-of-mouth (online and offline) for “information and advice.” -Capterra
86% of B2B businesses with referral programs grew their revenue in the past 2 years, compared to 75% of B2B businesses without referral programs. -Influitive
Start your referral process today!
Today’s automation technology and digital media make it so much easier to implement an ongoing referral program or run an annual referral campaign.1
1. Create a formal process
You should have a system in place for what happens once a project has been completed (or products delivered), which evaluates the project and asks for a referral. For companies processing a lot of customers, various workflow tools can be used to automate the system so the referral request takes place quickly (and without any hand wringing), with contact info sent directly to the sales team for follow up.
2. Make it easy and make it worthwhile.
Make the process as easy on your customers as you can. Give your referrers a link that they can share by email or on social media. If you can, make the link trackable to their customer account so you can track the request and send a thank you.
Incentives can be as simple as a code that gives a discount, or something more creative such as free training or access to some kind of extended service. Again, make the code easy to remember (and make it work with one click!)
And do referrals work? You bet they do.
Referrals give you direct contact with an actual name with an actual title. When you consider that connecting with a prospect can take 18 or more phone calls, with callback rates below 1%, your referrals are, indeed, worth asking for!
Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we just don’t have the time to do it. When you’re growing your business, asking for referrals can be one of those important tasks that can get overtaken by the urgent everyday to-do lists. Maguire Marketing Group can give you an extra hand and get you on your way to get more qualified leads through your own customer base. Book your complimentary session and start working with us towards that referral program you keep trying to get around to building.