There are a number of sales tactics out there that businesses deploy when they are looking to attract or retain customers. Email campaigns, inbound marketing and PPC ads are just some of these methods. However, the one method that always seems to have resounding success is referral marketing. Referral methods have long been noted by salespeople as the number 1 method due to their cost-effective approach while bringing in valuable customers who are really looking for the product/service you can offer. Read on to find out if referrals can become a sustainable way to generate leads.
Where most people go wrong
Although there are some amazing salespeople out there, even the most experienced are guilty of using referrals in the wrong way. One of the mistakes they do is to firstly build up a relationship and then send out an email or have a call with them. However, by this point, it is normally too late for the customer to fully appreciate what you’re selling. The second mistake they make is not taking ‘no’ for an answer. This has been ingrained into salespeople from day 1 on the job. However, if they are looking to be successful using referrals, they must take the customer’s feelings into consideration. What can you do to get referrals right?
Ask straight away
If you are a salesman, the first thing you should be doing is asking the customer right after the sale for a referral. This may sound rather strange and a bit forward. However, by doing this, you are encouraging the customer to think on the spot about who else they think would be excited about the product they’ve just purchased. If customers seem a little wary about giving referrals, you could always encourage them with a loyalty incentive program, which rewards their behaviour not just in the short term but promotes it repeatedly.
A lot of the time, the customer may say that they can’t think of anyone the first time that you ask. In response, you should politely accept their answer and thank them. The most important part of this is that you don’t take it personally. Sometimes people just can’t think on the spot. What you should then do, is ask again right before they leave. Yes, this can be an awkward encounter; However, studies have proven that people are more likely to give an answer the second time as they have had more time to think.
Email referral template
Referrals can sometimes seem like a tedious task to approach. One thing that you can do to simplify the method is to add an email referral template. In the template, you should include what you’re selling, thank them for helping you out and then leave the ball in their court. Remember that referrals aren’t owed to you.
As previously mentioned, referrals aren’t owed to you. The customers that are referring you are doing you a massive favour, and you should always thank them by showing how much you appreciate them. A simple thank you email could go a long way in creating more leads.