Sales Management Digest

How to Gather Great Referrals in a Social World
Selling Power Editors
One of the basic principles of sales success dictates that referrals are a potential gold mine for increasing sales.

Today, the value of referrals has increased exponentially, thanks to social networks.

In fact, engaging your "brand advocates" (customers, employees, and/or influencers who already buy from you and trust your company) can reap huge dividends. According to brand advocacy and referral program management experts at Amplifinity, customers acquired via referral are consistently
  • less price resistant,
  • less likely to question the benefits of your products after a purchase,
  • more loyal and more likely to refer prospects.
So what can your company do to harness that power? Amplifinity experts recommend looking into automated brand-advocacy software. Automated software is a great way to start quickly generating more leads (that are also well qualified). Software also makes it easier to track, measure, and manage the progress of a formal referral program within your CRM system.

If you're an individual contributor, here are some timeless tips you can practice immediately to keep brand advocates happy and gather great referrals:
  • Do not annoy your existing and/or potential brand advocates. Never spam your network via email, LinkedIn, or any other social or digital channel.
  • Follow through on all promises – no matter how big or small.
  • Keep your social profiles up-to-date and active. Be sure to share content your customers would find interesting and useful; don't just broadcast announcements about yourself.
  • When appropriate, admit fault quickly and commit to doing a better job in the future.
  • Be careful about how you talk about the competition. Bashing competitors only makes you look bad.
  • Say please and thank you.
In a socially connected and highly networked world, the value of referrals might just be at its highest peak ever. As Beedon writes in his blog post, "We find that our clients' advocates actually want to share their positive experiences and recruit their friends to become customers too, so taking advantage of this network is often just a matter of the brand automating the process of asking for referrals. In this way, brand advocacy becomes a win-win situation for the brand and its loyal customers."

Whether your effort is at an organizational or individual level, make sure you're making the most of social channels to get the best and highest volume of referrals possible. Today, engaging your brand advocates online and through social networks is just smart business.
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