It is the dream of every sales person: A new potential customer calls you out of the blue. Just like that. Without the need to contact him beforehand. Turns out, your company was recommended to him.
Turn those coincidences into a system. With considerably less effort than in cold acquisition. Because a recommendation by one of your customers has an enormously trust-building effect. The honest interest was already aroused before the contact.
How to convince customers to recommend you?
A proper recommendation marketing might be less resource-intensive than cold acquisition. But nevertheless it isn’t a self-runner. You must work actively towards a recommendation. Usually it takes three steps:
1. Ask for a recommendation
It sounds trivial, but for many it is still the most difficult step. Although your customer is generally prepared to make a recommendation, he will rarely do so on his own initiative. Our Experience is that two points in time are particularly suitable for your request for recommendation:
- Immediately after ordering
If your customer has decided to make a purchase, he is obviously convinced of your product. A good time to talk about a recommendation, perhaps even in combination with a small incentive. That could be automated, but a direct contact might be even more convincing.
- After delivery
If you do not offer a service but offer goods instead, the right time can also be right after delivery. Find out whether your customer is satisfied with your delivery and then ask the recommendation.
Be prepared for a “no” or an unspecific answer. Follow up directly! If your counterpart requests time to think about suitable candidates, ask him/her for at least a single contact for the moment. Your aim is an immediate action, otherwise the probability of a recommendation decreases.
2. Reduce the barriers
Make it as easy as possible for your customer to make the recommendation. Provide him/her with an e-mail template, for example, with which he/she can immediately establish contact between you and the potential interested party. Ideally, this should be done directly after your call.
3. Ensure positive feedback
Encourage your new contact to thank the referral provider after a successful recommendation. In this way, it receives positive feedback and is stimulated to make further recommendations.
Suggestions for customers to approach?!
- Have you already identified a list of further customers? Excellent. Suggest them to your referrer that he or she recommends you to companies from the list of highly valued potential customers. Use smart software to help you with that.
- Is your potential referral listed as a company in Implisense Pro? Check their company profile and look for other companies linked to their profile. Is there a company of interest to you? Mention this link to further reduce the recommendation hurdle.
Example: Recommendations from link analysis
Suppose you have a satisfied customer at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. Open their company profile in Implisense Pro and look for the link analysis section to see which other companies they are linked to:
Obviously, you could ask for a recommendation both within the Bosch Group and to suppliers, since your customer is connected with them via contracts, web page entries or managers. Use this information advantage to select specific candidates for recommendation. This approach is ideal for developing new customers within groups of companies or corporations.
Recommendations are one of the most efficient acquisition channels. Therefore, do not leave it to chance, but use strategic recommendation marketing – even with a certain persistence. Combined with Implisense’s detailed company data, you can maximize your sales performance!