Customer Referrals: How Your Current Clients Can Attract New Business
By Jessica Webb
4 minute read
With increased noise in the market, it’s now more difficult for potential customers to distinguish your messages in their inbox from spam. The increase in competition means more sales reps are relying on automation for their outreach, which can lower trustworthiness, in addition to increasing noise. Cold emails, cold calls, and cold InMails are no longer effective strategies for establishing a sales intro.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to reach potential customers with an assist from a familiar face. In fact, 82% of B2B sales leaders believe that referrals generate the best leads. If you are staying connected to your existing customers, what better way to expand your product’s footprint than by leveraging their network? People who already use your product (and enjoy it) are your best advocates. And yet, so few sales reps are leveraging existing happy customers to reach new ones.
Together, Hifive + Linkedin Sales Navigator is your secret sauce for making it easy to get customer introductions at scale.
How to ask for referrals: Examples for existing customers
Hifive makes it easy for your connections to provide introductions. With templates (and even AI suggested text) you can personalize your messaging to your customer and also make it easy for them to understand exactly what it is you’re asking for in your introduction.
Let’s walk through the steps of how to use LinkedIn Search or Sales Navigator and Hifive to get more customer referrals:
- Install Hifive
- Using traditional LinkedIn search or even better, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, create specific account lists and use specific lead filters to drill down through your mutual connections and find your target prospect.
- Once you’ve selected a prospect to meet, Sales Navigator will surface a list of your mutual connections. When you find the person you want to make the intro, click the Hifive “Request intro” button and confirm your selection.
- Craft or tweak the suggested message to the person you’re requesting an introduction from. Here are some key things to keep in mind to help make this introduction even more compelling:
- Start by thanking them for being an awesome customer.
- Ask them if there’s anything more you can do for them!
- Ask them for product feedback.
- Make it super easy for the person you’re asking for an introduction from by customizing a message for them to pass along to the prospect you’re looking to meet.
- Send the request and wait for the magic to happen 🪄
Once your prospect gives the green light to the introduction, both of you will get an email connecting you. Thanks to Hifive’s double-opt-in system, you can be confident that you're reaching out to someone genuinely interested in what you have to say. Now, it's all in your hands!
How to get more customer referrals
There are lots of ways to set up a referral system that is easy to maintain, and scales as you do. Here are a few ways to approach building out a customer referral system, and some benefits you can highlight to folks that are participating:
- Create a customer referral program: Provide an exclusive benefit to your existing customers who refer more customers to you. This could be something monetary, like an Amazon gift card, or it could be an incentive more related to your business, like private office hours with the CEO, conference tickets to your annual event, etc.
- Provide mutually beneficial PR opportunities: Highlighting the success of your customers isn’t just good for your business, it’s also good for theirs! Customer stories are a great way to showcase how a company is succeeding using your product, but the best customer stories are holistic snapshots of the company and its success. These customer stories of course include how your product plays a part, but is not the main point of the story (or else it can come off disingenuous). These customer stories can then be repurposed for Public Relations, Analyst Relations, conferences, and so much more.
- Establish partners as thought leaders: It shouldn’t be ignored how much providing advice does for establishing someone as an industry expert or thought leader. Being the friend or person in someone’s network to recommend a product or service goes a long way. In fact, 29% of B2B tech buyers claim that friends are their reliable sources of information (Sullivan-Hasson, 2020).
The relationship-led movement has arrived. There’s never been a better time to take advantage of solutions that leverage your existing network to help you do your job better. Make better and more authentic connections and increase your success rate with Hifive? Now that’s a win-win.
Posted October 31, 2023
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