In this post, we will talk about different referral marketing strategies you can start using today. Referrals are the best kind of customers you can get. Since they onboarded based on a good word that others put in, you can expect them to churn out slower.
That’s why referrals are the lifeblood of any successful business.
What is referral marketing?
Referral marketing helps you grow your business with word-of-mouth marketing by getting existing customers to talk to others about your business.
Know when and how to ask for referrals
Referrals work. Everyone knows that. It also appears so from personal experience.
Sales teams know how to ask for referrals so that they can get directly to decision-makers.
Referrals help you bypass gatekeepers and get meetings with decision-makers in just one call. This helps you outpace the competition, discover problems that need solutions and drive relationships and sales.
Today the question is how to ask for referrals and generate them at scale. No one visits a badly designed referral page.
You can use free procreate glitter brushes to create amazing designs for your referral pages and get more people to it.
87% of frontline sales reps and leaders agree that referrals are the best leads. It makes sense because people work with referred vendors and others.
Despite the hype around referrals, few salespeople ask for referrals regularly.
That’s money on the table.
Why don’t the rest of them provide referrals? Because no one asked.
What Is a Referral, Anyway?
In sales, you simply cannot barge in and ask customers to pass your name along. They can reach out to mutual connections and reach out to those connections only if you put it nicely. So you need to be strategic about the whole thing.
Any attempt to reach a prospect who doesn’t know you and isn’t expecting to hear from you whether it be social media messaging (e.g., Instagram DMs), text, direct mail or anything else, is cold outreach. That’s why referrals are great to give you a foot in the door. With referrral introductions, prospects expect to hear from you and agree to take on your call.
Then there’s the warm call fantasy where you are name-dropping on mutual connections. Unless the prospect knows the salesperson and is expecting the call it’s still called cold outreach and it doesn’t matter what you call the same. It won’t work.
The singular best way to make hot calls is to make expected calls.
Create a big community around your brand
- Create An Open Space For People To Connect
The term community is thrown around plenty these days. But something is evident. If you’re not creating meaningful connections with real people you lack a community. It’s important to create an open space that lets people talk, encourages open dialogue, and makes sense in your business. Remember that a community is a core human need.
Know o people in your community that they are valued. Regularly tell them there’s no substitute for interpersonal connections. When you visit online communities they give you ideas that can turn into new conversations and relationships.
2. Rally Around A Cause
It’s easy to create a community around social causes. If you’re selling a beauty product then a good idea is to root for a cause around self-esteem issues.
People respond to common causes and you can encourage team members to engage with the online audience. Be patient as it can take time. Share educational and impactful content in the shared space to get more members to your community and let referral marketing take off.
For instance every November millions of men come together to celebrate a good cause. They raise serious health issues faced by mean who refuse to shave their upper lips. This became known as Movember.
3. Leverage User-Generated Content
Another great piece of advice to build an online and offline community service or brand is to get content from real customers. The cost of creating content from scratch (e.g., writing blog posts) is too much for brands. There’s also a renewed demand for increased content frequency as well. Paying for professional photography isn’t always possible for every social media post as most small businesses leverage these channels. Instead, get someone in the company with an eye for design and storytelling to curate the best content for ecommerce from real customers. There are plenty of people who post high-quality content on social media involving brands. Reposting is a welcome change and it builds brand loyalty and shows customers ways to truly connect with them. Asking existing customers to post reviews that you can use is also an example of user generated content. This is an example from Instantly.
4. Solve A Problem Without Selling
Most businesses try to build communities around their audiences to promote products or services. This is a mistake you must avoid. Engagement is the first thing to do right to build a powerful community. Whether it’s people or businesses helping find user solutions, the core idea is to get people to solve their problems.
This helps you create a community you are proud of.
Even if customers like your brand, more is needed.
Tap into social media
We live in a social media crazy world. We get TikTok DMs, Facebook messages, IMs everything else.
On average people spend two and a half hours every day on the internet browsing stuff and sharing what they find through social media.
And that gives you a window into the minds of consumers. You can do your best to reach them if you have interesting visuals that offer the benefits of the referral program and get your customer to sign up on social media.
Use email marketing to promote referrals
Email is a little more personal and reliable than social media, even cold email outreach (i.e., finding email addresses for prospects and messaging them)
- Make it easy for people to refer
Referral marketing is supposed to be easy for people doing the referrals. You should make it easy for them to refer others with the help of a unique referral link they can generate themselves. These are the ways you can guide your staff and other customers to refer others.
- Looking for someone with a problem
Let’s say you are a stock broker, or someone who knows how to invest in stocks really well. You can approach existing customers by saying that if they know someone interested in investing in stocks but isn’t satisfied with the guru advice or expert tips they presently get, I would like to know about them.
This example is specific to this market but can also apply elsewhere. You may be able to fix what has gone wrong with them and as such referring you to this person is seen as doing a favor to them.
- Specific referrals
When you ask existing customers, “Who do you know that I might be able to help?” their mind goes blank and they won’t be able to answer. Specific requests get quicker answers.
A real estate agent might ask: “Who do you know that owns multiple homes, perhaps near the shore, and wants to save on taxes so that they benefit from federal tax laws.
Tell your friends you are going to be interested in talking with them. This helps them think about their friends who have homes near the beach and are worried about the high taxes. Surely they may be interested in knowing more about someone who can help them cut these taxes down a little.
- Find someone who you want to know
You’ve checked out their LinkedIn first-level connections. You see a person who has the potential to become a client. The next step is to get an introduction to them over coffee or at some restaurant.
By giving them a reason to meet with you, you’ve given your friends ideas they can use to communicate with this potential referral. Perhaps get them interested in your content, in your profile or show examples of others who you helped.
Ultimately, friends and clients will refer people they know if you do a great job.
Existing customers can help you drive more customers to your business if you do the job right of providing great customer service and provide great referral rewards.
George is a writer and blogger who blogs at Kamayobloggers.com a site sharing cutting-edge marketing advice.