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Category Archives: Referrals

Referrals – The #1 Marketing Action That Will Make 2018 a Success for Your Business

Referrals – The #1 Marketing Action That Will Make 2018 a Success for Your Business

Most everyone is at least thinking about their 2018 business plan. What will be the key marketing activities you will rely on to make 2018 a more profitable year? As you list these activities is there a creeping sense of déjà vu? You’ve dutifully made marketing plans in the past, but the business gets in the way of focused, committed follow through. Trust me, you are not alone.

Referral Marketing Should Be Your #1 Marketing Commitment in 2018

The key is to prioritize those activities and decide, come what may, which activity will be the priority. If only one thing gets done it will be…what? I recommend that the one thing is a commitment to developing referral relationships. What I mean by referral relationships is a proactive plan to identify, communicate with, and seek to uncover business opportunities with people who can provide you with referral business.

DIY Referral Marketing

We all love referrals.

When a prospect is referred to us, we enjoy a sort of trust transference. The prospect has a solid, satisfied relationship with the person referring us. Their thinking is along the lines of “Bob has taken good care of us, so if Bob thinks these guys will do a good job helping us with ERP software (or whatever your product and service offering is), we’ve probably found a good service provider.”

The referred prospect is already predisposed to us:  confident that we can do the job.

Like us, like everyone, the prospect’s time is valuable. There aren’t enough hours in a day. There is more to do than time to do it in. As a result, being referred can mean a fast-forward past the buyer stages of Know, Like and Trust, straight to the “Try, Buy” stages. This means a shorter sales cycle. And very likely, it means a lower cost of sales.

When we are referred, the competition doesn’t have the benefit of the trust transference. (If there is any competition.)

I am always amazed at how often being referred results in the prospect bypassing the evaluation of other service providers. I believe this occurs because of the time + trust transference effect. The person making the referral is trusted enough to substitute for due diligence and the prospect can use the time he would have spent evaluating other services providers on more business-critical activities.

You’ve probably experienced what I’ve described. Usually when I asked business owners where their closed business comes from, the answer is referrals. There may be a few deals that come from a webcast or an event they attended. There may also be the occasional deal that comes from direct mail or email marketing. But the lion’s share of closed business seems to come from referrals.

So why don’t we spend more time developing referral partners in order to increase the number of referrals we get?

Let me suggest that 2018 is the year you get serious about referral marketing. Here is a very simple 4-step plan that anyone can put in place.

  1. Identify who can refer the type of prospects that need your products and services.
  2. Pick 5 and list them in the first column of a spreadsheet. Across the top, list out the months of the year.
  3. Each month, communicate with the referral partner. The point is to stay top of mind, so that when they are talking to a prospect or customer and the prospect/customer communicates a need for your products and services – you’ll be top of mind.
  4. Look for opportunities to refer business to these 5 contacts. Nothing keeps you top of mind as effectively as helping your referral partner close business.

It’s really quite simple. But it may not be easy.

I work with business owners to implement plans like the one above. Getting started is the hardest part. Maintaining the momentum of regular communication is crucial. “I just didn’t have time this month” is the number one cause of failure. However, when business owners make the time – decide that this is the one thing they will make sure happens – the results are energizing. There are more qualified opportunities (adds to the pipeline). There is more revenue coming into the business. Typically, referral customers are happier customers – so you have more reference sources and case study candidates.

Consider this: if you could double the number of referrals received, what would it mean for your business? If you could triple the number of referrals received, how much more would it mean for your business?

A little regular attention to your referral partners can go a long way. In fact, a 2X or 3X increase is a conservative forecast were you to commit to working your referral partners. This is why, if there is only one activity that can get your full commitment, make your commitment to referrals.

Renewable Referrals on Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

It was fun to sit down with John Jantsch and talk about referrals.  John was kind enough to have me, and co-authors Kelly Weppler and Rosie Taylor as guests on his weekly podcast. You can listen to the podcast here. How healthy is your channel of referral partners? In the big picture of lead generation,Continue Reading

Renewable Referrals now available on Amazon

The book has been published!  It’s available on amazon.com. If you’d like a better blueprint for a lucrative source of referrals than say, asking each of your customers for three names, then you’ll benefit from Renewable Referrals. I’m honored to report that John Jantsch, author of The Referral Engine kiwi gambling, The Commitment Engine, DuctContinue Reading

No More Cold Calling

Thanks to Joanne Black, I will have excellent listening material for my drive to Dallas on Sunday.  Check out her website:  http://www.nomorecoldcalling.com/

B2B Marketing – Avoid These 3 Referral Blunders

Within a four-day period, twice I have been in a discussion where someone wanting me to refer a product or service has thwarted the process by getting defensive or being condescending about my questions. When I sat down to the discussion, my mind was open to, and excited about, learning more about the products andContinue Reading

B2B Marketing: You Can’t Ask For Referrals If Customer Relationships Are Cold

Ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that referrals are the best source for generating new business.  But how does your customer feel if they haven’t heard from you in a long time and now here you are asking for a referral? Being proactive about your customer relationships is not only beneficial for cultivatingContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – 4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Referrals

Could it be that you are not getting the referrals you might because you’re fuzzy when you describe what you do? If a potential referral partner cannot get their mind around what you do and how to refer you – referrals simply won’t happen.  In a word CLARITY:  you must communicate in such a wayContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – Building Referral Alliances

When building your network of B2B referral alliances, a good place to start is with other professionals who serve the same (or mostly the same) customer base. An example would be if your products and services revolve around accounting software, an excellent referral partner would be CPAs.  In approaching a CPA, you would want toContinue Reading

B2B Marketing – Give a Little Klout

Klout.com is an application that, when connected with your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts, measures your influence and reach and gives you a Klout score.  I move between a Klout score of 44 – 48.  A perfect score is 100. The formula for determining Klout is not without controversy.  But let’s park that issue forContinue Reading

B2B Marketing Networking Top Priority in 2012 #DTM52

As I look at the market landscape for 2012 and what I want to accomplish, a strategic overhaul of networking is the hottest priority on my list – for both my customers and for my own business. Collaboration is difficult for a lot of business owners, myself included.  The stars of trust, pacing, contribution, andContinue Reading