Blog

by Danielle DiStefano
on October 11, 2015

Expert Selling Tips: Getting Referrals

This is the latest installment in our “Expert Selling Tips” series. 

Referrals are the highest quality leads because of the trust that is inherently established based on pre-existing relationships. This results in more more productive meetings, more qualified leads being converted, and more deals.  Everyone wants to take advantage of the benefits but generating sales referrals can be tough.

We compiled a list of our 6 favorite blog posts about getting sales referrals and how it can help B2B organizations.

 

Grow Your B2B Sales Through Referrals by Peter Levitan

Referrals from happy customers have obvious benefits. Closing rates of referrals are 6x greater than unqualified leads, referral-generated sales cycles can be up to 75% shorter, and referral strategies are cost-effective.

Surprisingly, says Peter Levitan, many B2B companies don’t have a strategy for generating valuable referrals.

How many times have you been asked, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer us to a friend?” This frequently asked question, which translates to a metric known as the Net Promoter Score, is a means to develop a referral strategy. Levitan says you should leverage NPS as a research method to analyze the performance and impact of your product on your customers.

 

Referral Program Ideas From 3 Multi-billion Dollar Companies by Jillian Wood

A 2012 Nielsen report says 92% of customers trust referrals from people they know more than any other form of advertising.

Unfortunately, says Jillian Wood, many B2B companies don’t know how to formalize a process for getting referrals on a regular basis. Wood says three multi-billion dollar companies, Amazon, World of Warcraft, and Dropbox, have referral programs that make the process beneficial for everyone involved.

For example, Dropbox rewards both the referrer and the referee additional storage space to encourage more sign-ups. Additionally, every time a folder is shared with an individual, they are invited to sign up for a free Dropbox account.

Why does Dropbox do this? Free demos reduces barriers to adoption, and creates more opportunities to convert free customers to paying customers.

 

The Best Way to Ask for Referrals by Rick Roberge

The first few times you receive a referral, it may be sporadic. And that’s ok.

However, it’s important to be proactive in seeking out referrals, says Rick Roberge. What can you do to be successful in developing your referral program? To start, it’s important to be excellent at what you do. This seems obvious, but referrals will come to the products that deserve them. Roberge says you should also develop a referral mindset, meaning you are willing to give them to get them in return.

One of the most interesting tips Roberge offers is to fight the urge to accept any referral. A shorter list of quality referrals is more valuable than laundry list of mediocre referrals that your contact might not even like.

 

9 Sales Tips to Getting More Referrals by Kyle Porter

Successful B2B sales professionals know the value of a referral. Working with an individual or company that has already established trust increases the likelihood of productive business conversations. But it’s not always easy to constantly generate leads from referrals.

According to Kyle Porter, aside from having a great product, excellent support, honesty and trustworthiness, there are 9 main tips to get more referrals. Some of these tips include:

  • Make referrals part of company culture. Talk about them through several channels: email, blogs, social, demos, etc. Eventually your contacts will recognize that you value referrals, and they will come.
  • Give referrals. Those who believe in karma will tell you that if you become the one who gives referrals, you will get them in return.
  • Know what you want to say. When it comes time to ask for a referral, you don’t want to stumble over the big ask. Create specific scripts for different types of referrals, such as clients, partners, or vendors.

 

How to Make Referrals a Winning Part of Prospecting by Jim Brodo

Referrals are likely the most desirable sources of leads for B2B organizations. They come from clients who trust you and advocate for your work. But not enough reps are leveraging referrals, according to Jim Brodo.

He lists four main steps to help sales reps take advantage of referrals and use them in their day-to-day prospecting:

  1. Timing- ask for referrals when you feel comfortable in your relationship with the contact.
  2. Obstacles- present yourself as a resource to contacts, and don’t be shy when asking for a referral.
  3. Sources- leverage LinkedIn, old and new clients, former colleagues, etc.
  4. Making Contact- help start the ball rolling for your contact by drafting an email they can send to the prospect for you.

 

Why Word of Mouth Should Be a B2B Marketer’s Top Priority by Pam Neely

After surveying 500 of its B2B clients, Implisit revealed the two best channels for converting leads to deals: customer and employee referrals.

Pam Neely says the support for word-of-mouth marketing in B2B organizations is overwhelming, and businesses miss out by not knowing how to leverage it.

There are simple ways to make referrals a regular part of the sales and marketing process, such as asking for them when a client compliments your work, requesting them in contracts, and making more referrals yourself. More importantly, though, Neely says word-of-mouth marketing can only be successful if you can be found.