You have an important decision to make. You have to choose between three suppliers. Each have similar offerings. One came from a cold call, another you discovered by searching the internet, and the last was recommended by someone you trust.
If you are like most people, your decision will be heavily swayed by a recommendation from someone you trust. When it comes to important decisions we tend to go for tried, tested, and trusted. As a rule, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. If we do not not know, like, or trust a particular supplier then we tend to ask people we do know, like, and trust for recommendations.
So what does this mean? If we want to simplify sales then we should work hard to get recommended. One way is for our clients to recommend us to people they know. As well as clients we can also work at developing a network of advocates who recommend us to people they know.
Doing a good job is not enough. We cannot assume that our clients will think about giving us referrals. It can also feel ackward asking for referrals. The trick is to prime your clients that you grow your business through referrals from satisfied clients and once they are happy with the work then you hope it is ok to ask them if they know anyone else who may be interested in your services.
When looking for referrals from advocates, the key thing is to make it easy for them to refer you. In order to get in a position where they will be prepared to advocate your products or services, you will need to develop a level of mutual trust and you will also need to make it easy for them to refer you. For example, arming them with stories and a free report.
Given that closure rates are typically less than 25% from a cold call compared to over 75% from a referral, does it not make sense to get recommended?