Getting a referral on one hand is an acknowledgement of a job well done. On the other hand referrals are a gateway to high-impact lead generation with minimal overhead, high conversions, and typically shorter sales cycles. Traditionally, referrals funnel in from customers telling others about your services. These days, however, it’s also become more common to search online for referrals and recommendations. Industry forums, blogs, and social media can all be sources of information and feedback about your company and its services. These can be reputation makers or reputation breakers. This is how a reputation is built and it’s that reputation that can reach your prospect long before you ever cold call or attempt to make a pitch.
Do you really know how people view your company? How often are you checking? It’s for this reason you should consider investing time and resources into some sort of online reputation management. This can be done with the assistance of a reputation management company or software program. Another less expensive option is Google alerts to monitor online mentions of your company and competitors. Google alerts are free and can index everything from news articles, websites, videos and more. Create a Twitter search for your name. Protect your social media reputation by responding to customer complaints or concerns. It’s tempting to delete negative feedback on social media, but consider using it as an opportunity to show your customer responsiveness and commitment to ensuring they are satisfied with their experience. Additionally, results gleaned in reputation monitoring will tell you weaknesses in your organization and areas that need attention. Happy customers mean more referrals and more referrals mean happy ad sales professionals.