B2B businesses such as lumber or construction are always on the lookout for more sales opportunities and new customers.
Gaining more customers is always a good thing, and many of these businesses are built on relationships. The best way to establish a relationship with your customer is through referrals.
Here are 6 tips to help you gain more referrals for your business:
Before you approach customers or others in your network, it’s important to make sure your business is ready to act on the referrals you are soliciting.
How would you assess the quality of your products? The degree of customer service?
If any aspect of your business is less than satisfactory, make whatever improvements are necessary so that when you ask for referrals, you can approach the leads you receive with complete confidence that whatever a prospective customer asks for, you can provide.
More than often, businesses simply neglect to ask their customers for sales referrals. Other times the request gets buried within some other communications where it gets overlooked, and then nothing happens.
One of the best referral opportunities happens after delivering your products or services, if everyone feels good about the transaction.
Other opportune moments include when you receive a complimentary email from a client or someone calls to tell you how satisfied they were with a recent exchange.
Sometimes a client or other potential referrer is happy to recommend your business, but just doesn’t have the time to make a formal referral.
To capiltalize on these opportunities, provide your client with a “forward-able” introduction with relevant background and contact information that they can send along to a prospect on your behalf.
The easier you make the process for referrers, the more likely they are to follow through on your request.
A willingness to offer referrals, as well as ask for them, just makes good business sense.
Not only does this foster goodwill and a good relationship, but you can genuinely help a client by introducing them to a business you know will benefit from their goods or services. You will become known as a reliable source for recommendations, which makes asking for them both easier and more integrated into your company culture.
Social media is a great way to connect with prospective customers, and it’s also a great place for referrals.
Look for popular industry-related groups and start taking an active role in discussions.
Become known as a dependable and knowledgeable source of information.
Rather than view your business website merely as an introduction to your company, work on providing blog posts and articles that serve a genuine need in your industry with facts and tips.
By remaining alert to ongoing and future trends, and by offering answers to the problems your customers face, you will establish a reputation as a thought leader with the willingness to help others.
Having such a reputation keeps you “top of mind,” enhancing the likelihood that your clients and others in their network will happily refer others to you.