In a perfect world, all referrals would come to you, and they immediately make a purchase or execute a contract for your goods or services. While this certainly happens, a large percentage of businesses abandon the lead instead of taking the appropriate nurturing actions that may be required to bring this client to an eventual close.
Marketing and follow-up take a bit of work, but by getting a few critical processes in place, you can leverage technology and your existing marketing efforts to stay in front of these prospects and ultimately convert them to new customers. Let’s look at a few actions you should take every time you get a referral who doesn’t immediately translate into a new client.
Social Media provides business owners and department heads with an excellent way to passively stay in touch with prospects; even those who have chosen not to partake in your services. Assuming that you have some type of social media strategy, these referrals will get into a non-invasive drip system, so you are constantly catching their eye. This methodology will be an excellent way to be in the right place at the right time, especially when your prospects are ready to make a buying decision. On of the best platforms we have found that does all the postings for you and also provides some great content is HyperChatter.
One key thing to consider: DO NOT start to stalk these people all around the web. Nothing is worse than speaking with someone with whom you are considering doing business with, only to receive connection requests on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter within a day of the meeting.
Also, it is paramount to note that for most people, Facebook is a “Personal” social network. Your prospects probably don’t want people outside of their immediate circle of family and friends to get access to that window into their lives. If you send a request, it could be seen as intrusive and may actually cause harm to the relationship. This can be especially true if you are not doing business together. We recommend that you stick with LinkedIn & Twitter, and stagger the requests over a few weeks, so you aren’t as blatantly obvious.
Email can be a very powerful weapon that you can use to stay in touch with potential customers and move them down the funnel towards ultimately becoming a client. Given the technological advancements that exist these days, you can run a very successful email program with very little upfront effort.
First, it may be a good idea to put them into an automation flow that allows them to receive value-add deliverables over a prolonged period. However, please don’t make the mistake of sending them an email every day for a week, mostly turning into a nuisance. Space them out 3-4 weeks apart, and ensure that every email that goes out would provide some value that they can use to make their business better. The emails may include things like whitepapers, case studies, and infographics. Also, don’t be afraid to send over other items that may not be related to your business. Focus on the overall value that you can provide to make their business better.
Secondly, you should have a monthly newsletter that goes out to keep them up to date on what is going on with your company and industry as a whole. This soft touch point will ensure that they are always receiving value add communications and will also keep your business or brand at the forefront of their mind for when they are ready to make a decision.
All of this can be easily handled with a new technology called ReferMe IQ.
Finally, remember that relying on technology alone can make things terribly impersonal. An excellent way to cut through the noise is to implement some of the age old tactics that have worked so well in the past. This includes sending personal notes and cards for birthdays and other occasions, getting together for lunch or coffee to continue to build the relationship, and also finding ways that you can help build their business.
Just as they were referred to you, don’t forget to refer people to them as well. By illustrating that you have a general interest in their business, it will likely lead to the opportunity for you to win their business at one point in the future. Plus, it is not an uncommon occurrence when some of these prospects start to refer you new clients before engaging with you for their businesses. It all comes down to a way to differentiate yourself and your business, and by going the extra mile, it can prove to be a beneficial way to establish a firm foundation for your business moving forward.
Post author: Mike Rowan