How To Use Referral Based Marketing To Increase Sales
The most powerful marketing tool for any business is referral based marketing. People are inclined to trust a recommendation if it comes personally from somebody they know. According to research by Nielsen, 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.
Getting the message about how great your business is into the grapevine doesn’t depend so much on the size of your social network but on how recommendable your business is. You should be able to leave consequential strangers with a clear understanding of what you do, in just a brief conversation. Consequential strangers are people other than family members or friends. They are acquaintances you meet at social activities, like at the gym or the church.
To expand your reach, you want to give them enough information so that they can further recommend you to their friends and family. Their recommendations, or referral based marketing, can be quite valuable as people only follow the advice of people they trust in their friends and family circle. If the outcome is positive, it creates a ripple effect and the word spreads.
So what does it take to be recommendable? You need to establish enough credibility and context so that people know clearly what is that you do. There are three steps to becoming recommendable so that consequential contacts can tell people they know about your business.
Referral Based Marketing Step 1. Be very clear on whom you serve and what type of results you get.
This may be fairly obvious to you, but what you have in your head can sometimes be difficult to express in just a few words. Have a brainstorming session and uncover what exactly it is that you do in the most interesting and understandable way possible. Because if you’re not clear about your business, then no one can confidently recommend you.
Referral Based Marketing Step 2. Optimize your web presence for context and credibility.
When somebody visits your website’s homepage, he or she should be able to know instantly whom you serve and what type of results you get. This is called credibility and context. If people know what you do, the kind of results you get and why you are a credible authority, they are more likely to recommend you. There’s been a lot of research and studies to back this up. The reason being nobody wants to be embarrassed with a bad recommendation that puts their judgement into question.
Alongside optimizing your website, you should pay attention to your online footprint whether it is on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other online profiles.
Referral Based Marketing Step 3. Nail your in-person communication.
Imagine you’re walking out of the gym, and you run into somebody who comes regularly, and they ask you “what do you do?” The answer to this question should be one short phrase that effectively communicates your work.
Nick Reese an entrepreneur, marketer and strategist has one simple formula to respond to this question. It takes the form of:
“I (what u do) help (specific audience) (overcome, defeat, master) their (struggling point) to get (a huge benefit).”
Fill in the blanks and you’ll have a one sentence answer that will help make the listener understand and remember what it is you do. To give a boost in its deliverance, you can rehearse it beforehand. Rehearsing a simple sentence might seem silly but it can be one of the most powerful tools you have.
Keep it memorable. If a stranger you meet today cannot remember what you said enough to pass it on to someone they know or meet tomorrow, you aren’t going to get any referrals. As contrary as it seems, the more you narrow your expertise, the more referrals you will get.
Once you’ve done these three things, your business is in a state which is easy for people to recommend you. It’s important because the more consequential strangers who know what you do and can tell their friends what you do, the more likely they will refer business to you. This strategy doesn’t depend on whether you have a large or small social network, but on how effectively you communicate what your business does.
To make your business recommendable, you need to be clear about exactly what you do and how you can help people. We find that executives have the toughest time doing this. They have had decades of experience in their careers and now need to narrow what they do best down to only a few things. Ask yourself, if you were to write a book, what would it be on? Most Interim Executives already have a well-rounded background, but what you specifically know and can offer, distinguishes you from other Interim Executives beyond your industry and company experience.