Salespeople obviously do better with warm leads, those which are already familiar with a product or service and which might already have an interest in buying. One of the best, most cost-effective methods for obtaining warm leads is through referral marketing.
Referral marketing leverages the power of social influence — you are much more likely to trust someone who comes recommended from a friend than someone who contacts you out of the blue, right? And another great benefit to this form of lead generation is that it usually costs zero cash.
Here are five tips to boost this form of marketing.
1. Give out more referrals yourself
Before you take, make sure you give. This is not just altruistic thinking, it is also a good business practice.
One of the benefits of giving out viable leads to other professionals is that it will establish your reputation as a “gatekeeper” for referrals, which will increase your influence in your business and social circles. It will also generate referrals in the opposite direction — filling up your pipeline with qualified, warm leads who are generally much easier to close than cold prospects.
Don’t delay on this. Make a list right now of at least three people you can refer a lead to today and DO IT!
2. Over deliver
Referrers want to know they can trust you with the people they send your way. After all, it will reflect badly on them if you do something to alienate a friend, family member, or business associate they referred to you. It might even cost them some business.
So, take extra care of these referred prospects, and the likelihood of getting future prospects will increase. Part of this is making sure you thank the referrer in writing and letting them know when the people they referred get involved with your product or service.
While you need to be careful with regulations in certain industries, sending a small gift (under $25) to a solid referring partner every year might be appropriate as well.
3. Form a Team
Even if it is not a formal group, consider your best referral partners as members of your team, try to help them build their businesses. This goes beyond just providing referrals, it means providing information and resources that they can use.
As shown in the previous link, one area where this strategy is applied often is in the real estate industry, where mortgage lenders and title insurers regularly keep realtors up-to-date with the latest developments and otherwise provide value in order to establish referral relationships.
Think about the people and companies you deal with on a regular basis. Are there any potential “team members” that you could send something to right now, such as an informative article or hot industry tip?
The key to success in referral marketing is to be proactive and not simply wait for referrals to happen. The great thing is that even if you have neglected this area of marketing before, you can take steps immediately which could generate a hot lead within the next few minutes, or at least pave the way towards referrals in the very near future.
So, get to it!
For more helpful tips on referral marketing, contact us here.