Securing Referral Business
By Jeff Jones on March 4, 2014 in Digital Marketing
For many businesses word of mouth referrals have the greatest likelihood of becoming new clients and therefore are the most valuable form of new business creation. Once the recommendation is given, two steps happen next. The first is an initial contact by the prospect to the provided name. The second action is a trip to the world wide web where the prospect will evaluate the company through the lens of their website.
When they venture to your website, what do they see? The prospect in this scenario is looking for validation. They want to know if the comments made by a business acquaintance match up with their expectations of you. This is your opportunity to provide them with a company tour and explanation of services before you have a chance at offering up the real thing.
Too many companies miss the boat when it comes to delivering an experience on their website that matches their processes and capabilities for the customer. Don’t be one of them and have the recommendation second guess your skill sets. Follow these rules and you will build credibility and confidence for the potential buyer seeking validation.
1. Provide a clear call to action on each product & service page. No sense in providing great information and nowhere to act on this newfound interest. Each page should provide a logical next step, not a stop sign for the visitor.
2. Show company credentials at appropriate places on the website. For instance, you may be a member of the Better Business Bureau. The wrong approach is to place this logo and affiliation on the homepage. It’s better to place it adjacent to the product review area or at check out for a product purchase.
3. Tell us why you’re better. Don’t explain or list out the services / products offered and fail to explain why they’re better, smarter or cheaper to use over someone else. Prove the merit of your service or product. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways such as infographics, videos or testimonials.
4. Provide confirmation for company selection. We’ve talked before about the importance of selling (not just explaining) what you do on a website. This is your opportunity to overcome objections and have the prospect make a mental commitment as if you were conducting the pitch in person. What tactics are sure fire winners in person that translate well to the website? These will be unique for each industry. Potential customers are looking for reasons to make a commitment. Make it easy on them to affirm their decision in you.
At the end of the day, word of mouth referrals are the first step in obtaining new business. Don’t leave the door cracked open for another competitor to win the partnership because you didn’t properly validate your company and it’s credibility through the website.
Photo credit: http://imcreator.com/images/even-wachten