Business networking referrals are a proven business strategy to increase sales or results for any organization. Just look to the expansion of formal networking group such as Leads, BNI to Rainmakers. To better understand this important business strategy requires defining both networking and referrals.
Networking is defined by Lillian Bjorseth as “mutually beneficial relationships.” This definition suggests that in networking both parties enter into the relationship for mutually gain.
Business referrals are word of mouth (WOM) testimonies for your business credibility, business ethics and business experience that turn cold calls into warm if not hot calls. HINT: Referrals increase sales to close ratio and make the overall sales process much easier.
Since ongoing research continues to suggest that referrals account for 80% of all new business sales, then becoming proactive in giving referrals as well as receiving your own referrals is paramount to your business success. These questions may help you to begin to better understand the impact of referrals within your strategic plan.
1. Do I have a process in place from which to monitor my referrals?
2. Do I know how much of my business is from referrals?
3. Do I use my website as a referral source?
4. Do I have a process in place from which to acknowledge referrals received?
5. Do I have a process in place from which to actively ask for referrals?
6. If I answered Yes to all the above 5 questions, would my business sales increase?
So what are you waiting for?
If you are not actively using referrals as a business strategy to increase sales for your business, then you are missing incredible opportunities to make the current month, quarter and year the best ever for you. Run, do not walk back to your strategic plan and make those necessary course corrections to include this proven action to secure even greater business results.
P.S. Recent reports by BIG Research and Keller Fay Group verified the impact of WOM as being the primary action guiding the purchase of products and services. People still want to look someone in the eye before they buy.