Who else wants more referrals for their business?
One of the better strategy (or perhaps the most powerful strategy) for businesses that want to scale and grow is to focus on today is internet marketing. Drive traffic to a page… offer a lead magnet in exchange for a contact detail… then nurture the leads until they become a customer.
Yet before the internet became a sensational platform for winning customers… businesses have traditionally been relying on another resource. A no-brainer for most. In fact, it continues to be a reliable source for businesses serious about their sales funnel strategy.
Referred business or referral marketing.
Basically a lead that is already pre-qualified.
Why is this important?
Lesser sales resistance.
Whenever you’re selling any kind of product or service to anyone, there will always be some level of sales resistance that barricades your chances of ever closing the deal. And so long as you can’t break these barricades – lowering their sales defenses so to speak – you may find yourself stuck. Or lose the project entirely.
Instead, with a qualified lead your referral educates for you… you don’t even have to spend too much time talking. It’s almost like selling to someone who already knows what to buy. And your role there is not to sell, but to up-sell more of your services. (A topic for another time)
This is why sales professionals like real estate agents and financial planners have relied on referral as their primary method of marketing. It’s been tested and proven for many years.
Relationship sells and will always continue to sell.
What is interesting however is the different levels of referrals in marketing and how adding them into your business strategy can be a very profitable experience.
Let’s take a look:
Level 1 – Piping Hot & Excited Referral
Not everyone does this properly. Many even treat the entire process as just winning the sale. No follow-up. No continuity. And you can see why it won’t work in the long run.
Because this stage relies heavily on your referral actually using your product or service. After all, there is no better endorsement, testimonial, or recommendation than one that comes from someone who used and enjoyed a particular service.
They are so excited and happy with your services that they go all out to refer their friends and colleagues to contact you. Without you even doing anything.
When a referred person meets you for the first time, they already have a positive image in their minds about who you are and what you do. You’ll find yourself more comfortable sharing about your business… almost as if you’re meeting a long lost friend.
And in most cases, there is very little “selling” going on.
This is the best case scenario any sales person can hopeful. Unfortunately, unless you have a solid referral marketing system to kick this in place… this is also very difficult to rely on for consistent leads and customers.
That’s why most businesses will rely more on the next stage…
Level 2 – Warmed Up Referral
Most sales representatives of agencies and companies will turn to this group to build up their database of prospects.
Here you would be actively asking your existing clients for any of their friends whom they feel could benefit from your services just as they have. But instead of them going out to preach your services, you’ll be the one to reach out to their contacts to schedule an appointment with you.
The good thing about this stage is that you can easily get quite a lot of people to speak to with the right strategy. Unfortunately, they may not always be the best and most qualified group to prospect. And it leads to another problem where you may be spending more time prospecting instead of closing sales.
If this is your current bread and butter strategy for your business… be sure to qualify some of these referrals so you can maximise your time and effort. The last thing you want to do is to meet a prospect who isn’t ready to buy, you invest time educating this prospect, only to end up delivering the sale to a competitor.
Level 3 – Thawing a Frozen Referral
Some people love this group. Others hate them.
Commonly called a cold lead, it is said you need thick skin to attempt to prospect to this group of people.
Thankfully, if you learn how to embrace the advantages of the internet… you can use website copywriting to build a powerful referral marketing system that will transform them into level 1 prospects.
All you need are 3 key pages on your website which you can send an email or SMS before your meeting.
When your prospect finally come down for that appointment, you’re no longer another sales person… but an established and credible expert. And that makes a world of difference in the persuasion game.
So if you’re planning your website, remember to include each of these 3 pages and make them prominent:
- About Page – Talk about who you are and why you do what you do
- Services Page – Let them know about the key benefits of your services
- Testimonials / Showcase Page – Show them why working with you is a right choice
Naturally there are many other pages you could include… but start with these 3 pages… put in your best and most persuasive copywriting skills.
Because these are the pages that can thaw even a frozen referral into a piping hot customer.