“Referral marketing is a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually by word of mouth. Such referrals often happen spontaneously but businesses can influence this through appropriate strategies.” - wikipedia.org
As I’m sure you’ve done in the past when choosing a vendor to work with, we call our trusted friends, mentors, and acquaintances to get some referrals. Why do we do that? Because we don’t have all day to do our research on vendors. Time is money, but it may not be worth our time or money to hire a vendor that doesn't give us the quality work we seek.
In business, saving a dollar here and there may not always be the best thing for operations, so we tend to look to trusted resources for advice. Our friends may give us the cheapest options, but more likely they will refer us to whom they trust to do the best job based on their own experience.
So what does this mean for your business?
In B2B marketing, referrals play a very powerful role. A referral may come directly from your trusted advisors in person, but they can also come virtually through media like LinkedIn or Google. All you have to do is ask your satisfied customers to mention you and write reviews about you in these social spaces.
Putting their testimonials on your homepage as a video, or as a paragraph with their real names and photos can be powerful online marketing. Instead of listening to your sales pitch, more and more people are listening to what others are saying about you.
You and your team will need to build a systematic way to make sure you ask for such referrals and reviews in a timely manner. To make this easy, you might want to consider a follow-up letter to existing clients and give them a link so they can put a referral on Google, LinkedIn or any other social media platform without having to search for it online.
If and when you receive such review, don’t forget to thank the person!