Gaining referrals is your fastest way to new and long-term sales. Your LinkedIn network can be a gold mine of referrals if you have taken the time to build and nurture it. When you develop a network of people who refer, you can keep your pipeline filled.
To get a good referral that leads to business opportunities requires that you are actual referable!
Sounds like common sense, but there are steps you can take to be more referable which will leads to better quality leads.
1. Develop new partnerships
If you have been building a strong LinkedIn network for years, it is likely you already have the network to build more strategic partners. Who are your connections that provide services that are directly tied to your business’s offerings? If you’re a realtor, you want to have a remodeling contractor who you can suggest to your clients and vice-versa.
2. Create co-marketing partnerships
Who are your colleagues that have some sort of synergy with your business?
If you’re a health coach, this person might be the health food store down the street. There are many cross-promotion opportunities when you think about who you share a similar customer with.
Co-marketing can be in the form of webinars, events, co-branded content, or marketing materials.
Why not create an eBook that you and a partner co-write and distribute to each other’s mailing lists where it is co-branded, and you are getting exposure from each other’s mailing lists?
3. Earn your right to be a trusted referral
When your results and customer experience are memorable, this will keep customers coming back again and keep them referring because they see you as a trustworthy partner and advisor who they are confident in risking their reputation to refer. Now is a great time to review the customer experience you deliver.
4. Update your LinkedIn recommendations
We live in a world where social proof matters! If a past client is referring you, it is likely that that person will look at the recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, particularly on higher-priced services. Think about the last time you bought something on Amazon and chose the service that had the best reviews!
Update your recommendations every year if you want to remain relevant. People want to do business with those who are current and with outdated recommendations, you don’t want someone to wonder what you’ve been up to since that last recommendation.
5. Make a referral valuable for them
If you have a great business relationship with a partner who refers often, I encourage you to set up an affiliate program where they earn a commission for those valuable referrals. This way you are making it worth their time to send referrals your way when sharing in the profits.
Don’t be greedy, these may be leads you would never have gotten if not for a particular partnership. You may be thinking, “Why should I pay for a referral?” and my response again is why not reward someone for passing along a quality referral. If it is a one-off referral, send the person a gift card letting them know how much you appreciate them thinking of you as a quality resource.
Generating more leads that create opportunities for conversation are so much simpler than cold-calling people you don’t know. Look at who you already know well that you could partner up with, this could open doors you hadn’t considered in the past.