A good referral made at the right moment makes your life so much easier. It feels effortless, even fun, to sell your services: the customer has a need; you have the solution; everything comes together perfectly!
That’s the beauty of a well-timed referral. You’re starting off the relationship on the right foot. You are connecting with a customer at the right time with a relevant need, and you are being endorsed by a trusted partner. You really can’t ask for a better situation.
Referrals are your best source of customers, and you can generate more of them. You just have to answer one simple question, “Who knows about a customer’s need for your services before you do?”
If you can find those people, you’re going to generate the best referrals ever!
Who Sees the Opportunity First?
Every industry has predictable buying processes. This information is gold, because it helps you plan your sales and marketing strategies.
For example, Foresight Sports manufactures golf simulators and launch monitors. Their equipment is badass. It will show you exactly how the clubhead gets to the ball; the positions of the face at impact; and what happens to the ball as it leaves the clubface and makes its way downrange.
If you’re an avid golfer, this is the gear you need to own.
Foresight Sports Canada, the exclusive Canadian distributor and a Sticky Branding client, serves over 400 homes, retailers, and commercial facilities. The question we’ve asked ourselves frequently is “Who sees an opportunity first?”
For Foresight, a key referral source is custom home builders, architects, and designers. These are the people who know about a deal before the sales team. And these are a critical referral channel.
In your industry, who knows about a potential opportunity before you do?
Build a Referral Marketing Strategy
Most “referral marketing plans” are weak sauce.
Asking people, “Do you know of anyone that may need my services?” is not a strategy. Going to your customers and begging for referrals isn’t a strategy either. It just makes you look needy and annoying.
An effective referral marketing strategy is brand building. It’s driven on the core principles of Sticky Branding: how do you get your referral partners to know your brand, like it, trust it, and refer it?
This is a two part process:
- First, it’s relationship building: you need to build trust before people will refer you.
- Second, it’s education: you need to teach your referral partners how to spot an opportunity and how to make an introduction.
Sure, sometimes referrals will happen organically, but that’s not a referral marketing strategy. What you’re trying to create is a process to generate consistent sales leads every month. This is no different than any other marketing strategy: it’s all about strategy, process, and execution.
It Starts With a Question
Before you build a referral marketing strategy, do your research: Who knows about a deal first?
It’s a simple question, but it’s easy to overlook. But answering it gives you a target market. You already know who your customers are. By asking who knows about a customer need first will help you identify who your referral partners are.
That one-two combo is powerful and keeps your sales funnel full of high quality leads.
What do you think? We’re here, we’re happy to chat. Send us a note.