Your best brand representatives are your happy clients. Receiving good referrals from them can multiply the number of quality leads coming your way. According to a study by Ascend2, 50% of B2B marketers say that client referrals are the most efficient lead generation strategy.
Even better, customers who come through referrals are the most likely to convert compared to those who come in through other channels. Specifically, customer referrals generate a 3.63% conversion rate. (Source) Compare this to 1.55% of websites, 1.47% of social media and 0.99% of paid search.
So how do you create and sustain an effective client referral strategy? Here are a few tips that will help.
1. Be referable
Before you start looking for B2B referrals from your clients, ask yourself whether you actually deserve it. Are your past and current customers happy with your service delivery? Look at your business from a client’s perspective and see whether you would recommend it to others. If you are not so sure that your customers would refer you to others, it is time to make a few changes. Focus on customer satisfaction through efficient service delivery and excellent customer service.
2. Ask for referrals
Many businesses tend to ignore this obvious client referral strategy. By simply asking your customers, you will be surprised to discover how many are willing to recommend you and were just waiting for an opportunity. According to a study by Advisor Impact, 83% of satisfied customers are very willing to recommend you.
Whether you ask them through email, on your website or in person, the most important thing is to be simple and clear about your request. You also need to choose the right time to ask. Just after a successful transaction with a customer, you are highly likely to get a good referral. You can even do it in the midst of service delivery.
3. Make it extremely easy for clients
Most of your happy clients would readily refer you; they just do not know how to go about it. Your work is to make it easy for them. For example, send them a form with simple and clear questions that they can answer. Examples include, “Why us?” and “How do you rate us?”. If the referral is done on your website, make it easy to locate and fill being careful not to ask for too many personal details or lengthy answers. Additionally, give them clear instructions on how to refer you on review sites such as Yelp and on social media.
4. Refer clients to them
Consider reciprocating some of the good that your B2B clients have brought your way. If you know a client who would benefit from their products or services, do not hesitate to refer them to your customer.
5. Keep reminding them
Do not ask for referrals once and then forget about it, it is important to keep reminding your clients to recommend you. The best way to do this without bugging them is by making the reminder a fixture of your newsletters or emails. You can also remind them each time you complete a transaction.
By increasing the amount of B2B referrals you get from clients, you will be surprised at the drastic and immediate positive change to your bottom line. Finally, do not forget to say thank you each time you get a referral.