Referrals are one of the most productive forms of B2B lead generation. When a satisfied customer recommends a product or service to a peer, he or she communicates information free from commercial bias. Similar businesses may have the same pain points or financial restrictions. A Nielsen survey found 90 percent of consumers listen to peer advice on purchases (1).
Despite referrals proven benefits, B2B marketing teams are still hesitant to approach current customers during advertising campaigns. Social Media Today shared the results of a Dale Carnegie report that found 91 percent of satisfied customers are happy to give a referral, but only 11 percent of companies ask for them (3).
Business 2 Community detailed ways in which companies could request referrals (3). B2B marketing teams could offer incentives like discounts for customers that bring in new clients. Content marketing may feature surveys so consumers can express interest in providing recommendations to their peers. During the B2B lead nurturing process, marketing employees should capture potential client satisfaction levels so they can demonstrate if the company would be a good candidate for future referrals.
Integrated marketing campaigns that utilize social media have a great opportunity for casual referral requests. Companies on Facebook or LinkedIn connect to contacts in similar industries. It's a simple matter of asking for clients to share or like content.