We, marketers, are artists. To create demand for products & services, we have been using various techniques from the dawn of business culture. Referral marketing is one of them. Before going into the details of referral marketing, let’s talk a bit about the concept of marketing.

Marketing is life

Marketing is my life

Sometimes we forget that everything we do in life is marketing. This goes even if you haven’t learned anything officially regarding marketing, even if it doesn’t have the word marketing on your business card & for those who proudly say that they hate marketing. This is because everything that defines our daily experiences is consummatory in nature. Whether it’s regarding religious narratives, life experiences, culture, art, literature, or ideas. The life making moments of humanity from the inception of the concept of civilization are laden with various consumer-related rituals. This is why marketing is basic to what makes us human.

 

Psychology of Referral Marketing

Psychology of Referral Marketing

Sometimes we forget that everything we do in life is marketing. This goes even if you haven’t learned anything officially regarding marketing, even if it doesn’t have the word marketing on your business card & for those who proudly say that they hate marketing. This is because everything that defines our daily experiences is consummatory in nature. Whether it’s regarding religious narratives, life experiences, culture, art, literature, or ideas. The life making moments of humanity from the inception of the concept of civilization are laden with various consumer-related rituals. This is why marketing is basic to what makes us human.

Since the ground rules on marketing & life are set, let’s see where referral marketing is actually coming in to the picture. We human beings are born to be social & the craving for being part of the tribe is inked to our psychology. The reward for this is emotionally irresistible & 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 excessive higher than the potential reward.

In simple terms, when a particular person weighs up if a social action is worth carrying out, the internal thinking that goes will be, how large will be the chances of the particular action being socially rejected or socially recognized.

The same basic psychological principle plays in referral marketing. Referring a service or a product among friends & acquaintances is nothing more than an act of trust, social belonging & reciprocity. This goes same for both B2B & B2C.

Now, since the groundwork for the basics of referral marketing is set, let’s see how these principles can be taken put to use in business. The marketing aspect that has to be kept in mind is that- if a particular 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 & tested solution for success, if you can do that properly then you have struck gold…only mining will be left.

This is what makes referral marketing so powerful & valuable in the B2B sector that it can cut out a lot of marketing & sales steps that are generally required.

But to make customers refer you to their friends & acquaintances can’t be done by just usual charm.

“This is where the question of what should be done to make clients refer us to other comes?”

 

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Provide awesome customer service

In order to get clients talking about you to their friends, they should have stories of how you went above & beyond to get them what they needed. What goes wrong is when they are offered an average level of customer service, where the employees fake smiles & pretend to care about their businesses. This definitely won’t work well for referral marketing. Doing attention-worthy things should be your routine habits and it should be your goal to have customers telling glorious stories about your businesses.

Brainstorm with your sales, operations & 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 & products so they can either refer within their company or to others they know of. Most of the time, marketers just assume that the clients know more about them than they actually do. Any normal individual cannot give what he or she does not have. So, it’s the marketer’s responsibility to arm the clients with all the knowledge that’s needed for the products & services for effective referral marketing.

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. This will automatically increase your perceived value and you are more likely to get client referral & additional sales.

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 & 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 important to treat clients as partners. They should be made aware of who & 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. This is primarily because most people believe that the sales relationship ends once the payment for the transactions happen. It has become very casual that even if they are satisfied with the product, they won’t go that extra mile & 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.

Giving referrals

One of the best ways to boost referral marketing. You refer to your clients & 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 & more businesses.

 

Your turn now

Your turn now

Referral marketing isn’t rocket science. Yea, it takes a bit of extra work but 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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