Referrals make for great business. There’s nothing that makes me happier than old, satisfied customers sending fresh ones in my direction. And for those of you wondering how to acquire a stream of referrals in a relatively short amount of time, here are a five of the most important things you’ll need to know,

  • For optimum results, your referral program should focus on delivering you leads from several channels simultaneously. However, setting up such a system will require you to dabble in a host of lead generation portals including social media, bookmarking, etc. 
  • In fact, social media is one of the fastest ways to go viral right now, even among B2B circles. All this will also require you to create a consistent, powerful online presence so if you don’t have one yet, get cracking.       
  • Referrals aren’t simply the result of a single delighted customer. It’s a carefully coordinated process that needs to be studied, understood, tested, measured, tweaked and re-implemented.  Each referral comes with at a cost and you’re going to have strike a balance between what you expects to reward each referrer against what you hope to make out of the sale. Also, you may want to implement a lead qualification process to help scale rewards to the profitability of each referral.
  • You won’t be drawing any business in if you don’t get the word out. Advertise your referral rewards program on your website and via e-publications like email newsletters, press releases, sales letters and brochures. And advertise often – a single showing isn’t always enough to burn the image of your rewards and benefits into the average user’s mind.
Often you’ll have grizzled, pitch-worn sales reps tell you that you should ask for a referral the minute you close a deal. Their reasoning usually goes a little something like this – “When you close the deal is when the customer’s sense of obligation is at its highest.” 

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