You’ve got happy clients who refer you to friends, family and business connections. You’ve got a business network of contacts that are actively connecting you to potential clients. If this sounds like you, then you’re probably doing a lot wrong.
Referrals are a powerful way to grow a business. But if you lack a formal referral system, you’re probably receiving a fraction of the referrals you should be. Companies like Northwestern Mutual or Tupperware know this, and train all sales associates to use a very precise referral system to build relationships.
The spread of information is a serious point of constraint for any business development team building long-term relationships. In any meeting where the goal is to get referrals, there is a huge amount of detail communicated by both sides. The basics are:
- value proposition,
- industries of focus
- ideal target company size
- the problem a product or service solves
- the right contact person or ideal customer(s)
- the best language to use when making an introduction
- how to recognize the right time to bring you into the conversation
Much of this information is not customer-facing and therefore isn’t available on your website. As a result, 90% is forgotten immediately after a meeting, meaning it usually takes hours of meetings over multiple months, even years before a potential referrer has a solid foundation for how to pass you business.
Every business dependent on referrals should have non-public marketing content specifically designed to address these challenges and multiply the effectiveness of networking, channel partner and client referral efforts. We’re working on implementing several client referral portals right now, and will have case studies soon.