We, marketers, are artists. We have been using various techniques from the dawn of business culture to create demand for products and services. Referral marketing is one of them. Before going into the details of this form of marketing, let’s talk a bit about the concept of marketing in general.
MARKETING IS LIFE
Sometimes we forget that everything we do in life is marketing. It goes even if you haven’t learned anything officially regarding marketing. It is because everything that defines our daily experiences is consumes us. Whether religious narratives, life experiences, culture, art, literature, or ideas. The life making moments of humanity from the inception of civilization are laden with various consumer-related rituals. That is why marketing is fundamental to what makes us human.
PSYCHOLOGY OF REFERRAL MARKETING
Since the ground rules on marketing and life are set, let’s see where referral marketing is coming into the picture.
We human beings are born to be social and the craving for being part of the tribe is inked to our psychology.
The reward for this is emotionally irresistible and we happily accept the risks involved in taking social actions. But the disinclination kicks in when the risk of not attaining positive responses to social actions feels excessively higher than the potential reward.
In simple terms, when a person weighs up social action. The internal thinking will be on how likely the chances of the specific action are to be socially rejected or recognized.
The same basic psychological principle plays in referral marketing too. Referring to a service or a product among friends and acquaintances is nothing more than an act of trust, social belonging and reciprocity. It is the same for both B2B and B2C.
Now, since the groundwork for the basics of referral marketing is set, let’s see how these principles can be used in business. The marketing aspect that must be kept in mind is that- if a person’s opinions are respected and if that person is with high standards, then a favorable mention from them will carry hell a lot of weight. And the one whom you are approaching with the referral needs a tried and tested solution for success; if you can do that correctly then you have struck gold…only mining will be left.
That is what makes referral marketing so powerful and valuable in the B2B sector that it can cut out a lot of marketing and sales steps that are generally required.
But to make customers refer you to their friends and acquaintances can’t be done by just natural charm.
“This is where the question of what should be done to make clients refer us to other comes?”
We would hence enter the zone of creative ways to increase referrals. Here, we would discuss some customer referral statistics and referral discounts.
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PROVIDE AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE
To get clients talking about you to their friends, they should have stories of how you went above and beyond to get them what they needed. What goes wrong is when they are offered an average level of customer service, where the employee’s fake smiles and pretend to care about their businesses. It won’t work well for referral marketing. Doing attention-worthy things should be your regular habits, and it should be your goal to have customers telling remarkable stories about your businesses.
If there are creative ways to increase referrals, then offering the right customer service tops the list.
Brainstorm with your sales, operations and customer support teams on how you can get your customers talking about you in the best way possible for referral marketing purposes.
Thorough product knowledge
Ensure that your current customers know all about your services and products so they can either refer within their company or to others they know of. Most of the time, marketers assume that the clients know more about them than they do. Any rational individual cannot give what he or she does not have. So, it’s the marketer’s responsibility is to arm the clients with all the knowledge of the products and services for effective referral marketing.
The creative way of getting referrals is to gift the customers with detailed product knowledge. As the question crops up in a customer’s mind, you must solve it without any further confusions.
Under promise & over deliver
Whether its relationships or business, this is a cliché advice that always works. If you want effective referral marketing to be done, the best thing that you can do is offer extra value to your customers. Do more than expected. It will automatically increase your perceived value, and you are more likely to get client referral and additional sales. Also, your customer referral discounts work out only when you stay right in delivering your promises.
Encourage sharing on social media
When customers have fantastic experiences working with you, do not forget to remind them to share about it in social media. Social media marketing can be used to your advantage over here as an extension of your referral marketing ideas. You can even reward them based on the number of social media channels they post on. Adding non-cash rewards which include rebates and discounts goes a long way as they allow the customer to save money on the purchase price.
Treating vendors & suppliers like partners
Best marketers know that it’s essential to treat clients as partners. They should be made aware of who and how you can help. View them as strategic partners so they’ll do the same with you. But this doesn’t happen most of the time which is bad for your referral marketing campaigns. That is primarily because most people believe that the sales relationship ends once the payment for the transactions happens. It has become very casual that even if they are satisfied with the product, they won’t go that extra mile and refer you to others. But if they are treated as partners of a meaningful business relationship, it won’t even feel like referral marketing if you ask them for a referral. The best way to enhance reliability is to treat your customers like dealers and partners by providing much-required market insights.
One of the best ways to boost referral marketing is to refer your client’s business, and the chances are that they’ll do the same for you too. The act of referring a business can even start a chain reaction that can lead to more and more businesses.
Referral marketing isn’t rocket science. Yeah, it takes a bit of extra work but if done right it’s one of the best ways to win more deals. Ultimately, people do business with people, not companies.