Why are there only three ways to get referrals in this article? Because referrals are hard. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple – getting referrals takes time and effort. Yet, it’s worth putting the work in, and this guide aims to help with three ways to get more referrals for your startup.
Why referrals matter
Sales and marketing go hand in hand, and you need an effective marketing drive to build the business. But even with return on investment metrics, the impact of marketing can vary and what type of content resonates with audiences. Plus, you might gain leads with marketing, but then you have the challenge of converting that lead into a client.
Referrals, on the other hand, are much more likely to convert. A previous client or someone in your network can tell people that your business is worth using, so when they come to you, they’re a warm lead. Those first discussions will also be much easier because the prospect will likely be more familiar with your brand and offer. Indeed, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
3 ways to get more referrals
1) Think of your partners as a key audience
When businesses partner with others, there tends to be one common theme: the audience. Your partners probably share a similar audience to you, meaning they’re likely to have a relationship with your key target market. Do they offer any non-competing services that already work with your audience?
Partners can be a gateway to new business because they may refer your company to their clients. Make sure that any partner knows your product and service well, and start talking about potential introductions. They may begin to recommend your business to their customers, increasing the chance of you securing new clients in the process.
2) Ask your existing clients and customers
If people love using your products or services, then there’s even more reason to encourage them to spread the word on your behalf. A customer testimonial is one of the strongest ways to promote your brand. Ask them to leave reviews, be it via review sites or on your website via written or video reviews.
Getting customers to leave referrals can be tricky, though. Not because the client doesn’t want to spread the word but because they’re likely to be busy and don’t want to give up their time. Therefore, you might need to dangle a carrot in front of them to encourage a referral. Perhaps you can offer a discount on products or make them a brand ambassador of sorts. On social media alone, 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase or engage a business based on referrals.
3) Build your network
If you build it, they will come, and we’re not talking about your product or service. We’re referring to referrals and getting more client wins through word of mouth. Like working with partners, building your network increases the chances of getting referrals from those you connect with, both online and in real life.
Take LinkedIn, for example. Building connections on the social media platform and getting involved in conversations can create significant relationships, with those connections recommending you to their network. Likewise, attending events and liaising with people in your industry helps foster important associations that lead to referrals and more business.
A little help from your friends
As a business, it’s vital to continue working on your sales and marketing strategy and gain leads for the sales team. But there should also be a focus on referrals, highlighting those who already love using your product or services, so they spread the word and do the hard work on your behalf.