In older age, when there was no internet and technology, the only form of marketing strategy that worked was ‘Referral Marketing’ or ‘Word-of-Mouth Marketing.’
Referrals used to get the most business back then. Interestingly, things haven’t changed much since then. Even in today’s digital age, networking and referral marketing is found to be 2.5 times more responsive and effective than any other marketing channel.
So what exactly is Referral Marketing?
Well, by the definition- it is a marketing tactic that uses recommendations or word of mouth to grow its customer base through a network of existing customers. In short, it’s a way to get the biggest fans of your brand to spread the word about it.
Studies show that 90% of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth from someone they know above all other forms of advertising. Also, a whopping 70% of people trust online reviews and consumers’ opinion more than anything else. While the numbers alone speak volumes about the power of this marketing channel, without a strong network and quality referrals none of this can be achieved.
A strong network and quality referrals
Effective networking and quality referrals go hand-in-hand. Because when you have a strong network in place, you’ll automatically get quality referrals. And, believe it or not, the sole purpose of networking is generating referrals for your business.
For instance, if you’re a freelancer or own a small business, word-of-mouth or referrals could do wonders for you without painstaking efforts. Or if your friend appreciates the new restaurant that just opened around the corner, you’re likely to go there. Even in corporate scenarios, referred candidates tend to get hired more quickly, perform better and stay longer in a position. The hiring of senior profiles is completely dependent on networking. In fact, 82% of employers rated employee referrals above all other sources of recruitment.
Even after all these amazing benefits, a lot of people think that ‘referrals’ are nothing but those annoying, spammy emails and never-ending cold calls. Honestly, those aren’t referrals at all. They are “leads.” Because with help of referrals, you achieve not only better business but also customer loyalty.
One of the benefits of having referrals is that they’re economical. People will talk about your business or service for free. This will organically boost the sales cycle with a guarantee of better ROI than any marketing strategy. Hence, networking via referrals could save a lot of your advertising money. So use the referral system wisely and establish a huge network that drives business in the most cost-effective manner.
Another impressive benefit of networking and referrals is relationship building. When you establish a close relationship with your client, you get an insight into their needs. These insights are a good opportunity to develop and enhance your services to meet customer needs. Also, the insights gained from one client can often be applied to other clients in order to improve those relationships.
To learn more about the Power of Networking and Referrals, visit http://bni.ae/en-AE/index