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Learning The Art Of Referral Marketing In The B2B World

learning the art of referral marketing in the b2b world

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 about the concept of marketing in general.

Marketing is my life

Marketing Is Life

Sometimes we forget that everything we do in life involves marketing. It spontaneously happens even if you haven’t officially learned anything regarding marketing. 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 comes into 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.
Referral marketing

In simple terms, when a person weighs up social action, the internal thinking will be on how likely the chances of the specific activities 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 belongingness, 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 has high standards, then a favorable mention from them will carry 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 the mining process 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.
To make customers refer you to their friends and acquaintances cannot be done by charm alone. “This is where the question of what should be done to make clients refer us to others 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. Things may go wrong when they are offered an average level of customer service, where the employee’s fake smiles and pretend to care about their businesses. This may not work well for referral marketing. It’s important to have people talking about your business in a positive way. Make it easy for them to do so with your consistent and impressive work practices.

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 actually do. So, 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 empower the customers with detailed product knowledge. As questions crop up in the customer’s mind, you must be able to solve it without causing any further confusion.

Under promise & over-deliver

Whether it’s relationships or business, this is a piece of 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 referrals and additional sales. Also, your customer referral discounts work out only when you stay consistent 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 on 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 how efficiently you can help. View them as strategic partners so they’ll do the same with you. But this may not 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 transaction is completed. Sometimes, even if they are satisfied with the product, they may not go that extra mile and refer you to others. But if they are treated as partners of a meaningful business relationship, they would be more willing to give you a referral. The best way to enhance reliability is to treat your customers like dealers and partners by providing much-required market insights.

Giving referrals

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.

Final note

Referral marketing isn’t rocket science. Yeah, it may take 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.

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