B2B Business Referrals Are The Surest Way To Sales Success

by: Nichole Gunn July 22, 2014

B2B business referrals from an existing client are the simplest path to closing a sale and come with a warm and fuzzy feeling that a job well done is appreciated and rewarded. We all want referrals for our business, but how do we promote, manage, and reward the appropriate actions?

Questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Are you referral worthy? If not, why?
  • How do you solicit referrals from your clients in an efficient manner?
  • Do you have a way to track the success rate of referrals?
  • How do you reward clients for successful referrals?
  • How do you make B2B referrals viral?

An effective way to answer those questions is based on a little self-reflection on your business. Before you dive deep into the recognition and reward program in place to track your referrals, it’s important you have a good grasp on the audience and market you serve.

Have you identified your target audience? As you identify the key characteristics of that group and market, keep track of their stats to refer to later as the market grows and changes. Once your target audience is identified, you can then pinpoint referrers within that group to target directly. Add those to the current pool of referrers you have.

Now it’s time to ask for referrals. This is the tricky part. Everyone is sensitive to this interaction and it should not be taken lightly. Knowing when to ask for the referral during the sale cycle is very important. One approach is to constantly surround your target audience with referral language and marketing incentives. For example, does your marketing collateral already mention referrals? That makes bringing it up later a little easier. Add referral language to email signatures so it’s always on the client’s radar when you correspond online.

Once you have made the “ask”, it’s important to follow up with tools for your referrers. You want to make this step as easy as possible for them and equip them with various methods of reaching out to their network. Educate them on what makes your business stand out against the competition. Tell them why you are better than the rest. Provide them with reports, email templates, guides, or marketing collateral to share. Connecting with your audience on and offline gives you a platform outside of the sale to engage them in discussions about referrals. Clients are more likely to trust you if they know you on a personal level.

Thanking your referrers is key. No one wants to feel unappreciated. You’ve just asked your client for a big favor. Say thank you. Whether you provide your clients with a monetary incentive or send simple thank you notes, gratitude will go a long way. No need to throw flights around the world there way. Simply let them know that without their help and introduction to new business, you could not do what you’re doing.

Now it’s time to gather some data. What is the point in a referral if you can’t grasp it’s effectiveness? You want to know where business is coming from and who you can count on to back your company. Developing a reward program to track the ROI and sale conversions from referrals is important for growth and scale. It’s also a great test of where you can improve based on the feedback from others. At the end of the day, it all comes back to your service and product. Referrals will only work if you have something worth referring and others want to share it with their network. Knowing the most about your referrers and putting the best referral program in place is going to make all the difference.

At Incentive Solutions, our in house developed and serviced online incentive reward platform can be operational in weeks with no IT involvement on your part, accessible 24/7 365 in 55 countries for as little as $5000.

Contact us at 678) 514-0203 or visit www.incentivesolutions.com for a 30 minute online demo and see why 95% of our 200+ clients gives us an excellent rating.

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