The importance of asking for recommendations and leads
Are you taking this simple principle for granted and neglecting it? Let’s find out shall we!
This might be the most obvious article you ever read for your business, or it might be one of the most important ones you will read today.
It all depends on how well established you are. If you are just starting on your business journey, this principle is a must to follow.
Whether you are a new SEO expert freelancer, a fresh marketer trying to set your footprint, or you have just opened that eCommerce website you always dreamed of. If there is one thing that matters most of all at the early stages, it is growing your business.
There are countless ways to go about it, from sales tactics to various marketing strategies.
In this article we will focus on the one tool ANY business owner can use.
This almost overpowered “tool” also happens to be one of the most effective growth catalysts available – your existing clients.
It does not even have to be “clients” in plural. Because even your first satisfied client who received your services or products for free, or at a ridiculously low rate, might be enough to set a chain of events going. One that will set your business up on a path of growth and success.
How do we know? Because that is how we started.
Pro Rank Tracker might be an industry leader with more than 60k users today, but we were not the first of our kind when we started.
When we first hit the scene there were huge tools and players providing various forms of SERP tracking. We were just a few SEO experts and programmers that entered the risky and highly competitive niche of SEO tools.
A large part of our growth had to do with providing a high quality tool, at competitive prices. But as a SaaS that grew by word of mouth, we strongly relied on recommendations and leads that were given to us by our satisfied users.
What the research shows – recommendations are HIGHLY effective
In fact, they might be the MOST effective of all forms of marketing tactics. And you know what the best part of asking for recommendations is? It does not cost you anything, other than using some good old charm and human relations.
A research conducted by RewardStream, across 10 different product and service categories, found that not only is word of mouth an effective marketing tool, it still remains one of the best, even in 2019. It’s highly effective not just in the early stages, but throughout the entire decision making process that lead up to the purchase itself.
And get this – advice and recommendations received from close friends and family even trumped “expert advice” in most cases!
The research also found that over 80% of purchases via a recommendation are influenced by people talking face-to-face.
Another survey conducted by NIELSEN, polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries across the globe, found that recommendations from friends is by far the most credible form of advertising, and the best part of all – this is true across all cultures and religions that were polled. Meaning word of mouth will work no matter what your business is or where it’s located. A staggering 83% responded that they trusted recommendations from friends and family.
You might be tempted to think that word of mouth is outdated in our ultra-high tech world, where everyone is constantly jacked to the addictive inter-sauce of the web. A world where attention spans are shorter than ever, and we are bombarded with ads from every which way.
But perhaps that is also the secret of its power – a personal recommendation from a friend or trusted colleague stands out above this noise and carries far greater value!
Recommendations – the most moral and clean marketing approach
Do not be afraid to ask your satisfied customers to recommend you to their friends, colleagues and family. Be as candid and open as you can, and you will be surprised how willing most people are to help!
Especially if you are still in your business infancy. Everyone wants the underdog to win and rise above the big guys, because it also gives them a sense of hope and meaning for their lives.
Imagine for a sec, that you are the one getting the recommendation. Your friend or colleague probably isn’t trying to sell you anything. When recommending a service or product, chances are they have your well-being in mind, and besides that have their own reputation at stake. Most likely they would NOT recommend anything that will shine poorly on them. On the contrary, most people expect to get that sweet acknowledgment and “thank you” for a solid recommendation. On the other hand, let’s not forget that if they did not like a service or a product, they will also be more than happy to warn you!
You might be skeptical of some ad that promises you can lose weight (and rightfully you should be). But if a friend lost weight and then told you about the method they used, you would probably be much more inclined to believe something of value is there.
Word of mouth is a white hat marketing magic tactic that makes everyone involved feel good.
Ask for leads
Any seasoned salesman will tell you this is part of their rules for success.
Inquiring for leads is an indirect form of getting recommendations – asking your clients if they know someone that might be interested in your services, and asking for their contact details so that YOU can contact them.
This is a hotter approach than simply cold contacting someone out of the blue. Do not hesitate to namedrop your satisfied client (ask you client if this is ok first) and this will increase the chances of your reach out getting acknowledged. They might contact your client to make sure it’s legit and get a recommendation, and maybe simply mentioning them will be enough. It’s a good start either way!
After that it’s all up to you to bring a solid pitch to the meeting table.
And if you are selling SEO services, you can augment that sales pitch to the next level using PRT’s features:
How to sell SEO services using Pro Rank Tracker
Also don’t forget to showcase your brand and look established even if you are a beginner! This is an ABC psychological principal that was used even by Google when they were a fledgling search engine battling Yahoo! More on that here:
Businesses use this psychological principle to influence customer impressions
Want to take it a step further and truly reward any referrals? Implement an affiliate program.
It’s one of the most effective and simple marketing methods around. And the market is teeming with affiliates that are thirsty for new and awesome products to spread and market. Most importantly – it’s basically free marketing that is based on results and success.
We have one and it’s another virtually win-for-all solution. It’s likely not going to become your main lead generator, unless you focus just on that (some businesses take that approach and are quite successful with it). But it will provide you with an additional nice stream of leads over the long term.
Our affiliate program for example, pays a monthly 20% recurring commission for the ENTIRE duration of the referred account. So, until you grow your own multi-million dollar business, you can enjoy a steady stream of nearly passive income by helping others find Pro Rank Tracker!
Ask for Reviews
This is the second best thing after getting a recommendation from someone you know – seeing recommendations from people just like you, that already made that step and were kind enough to share their experience.
Ask your customers politely to leave a review if they can, since it will help you tremendously. You can send a follow-up email or attach a note with the shipment asking for a review, and your promise to handle any dissatisfaction. This will improve the chances of a positive review. It will also let people know you are ready to handle any issues they might have, which increases overall trust in your brand.
Star reviews are visually appealing and can drive traffic to your business. It can also be real physical traffic as we explained here, or internet traffic.
Reviews positively effect SEO across the board, by featuring relevant keywords as external links and content to your website and they improve your CTR. Reviews can also advance your Local Pack and Google Map ranks.
And if you are thinking that this is some long convoluted process, it isn’t. Research shows you do not even need to get more than 5 reviews, to increase the likelihood of a purchase, by a whopping 270% (for a product with 5 reviews vs. a product with no reviews).
Keep in mind that most will not believe all positive glowing reviews across the board. So, if there is a negative review that spices up those positive reviews, then all the better! It shows you are a legit and a complaint friendly company.
One time I was directly asked by a garage to rate them on Google. Even though they were very established and did not even need my help from what I could tell. But because I was satisfied with the service I received, I was simply happy to help – not just the business that served me well, but also other people in search of a good garage.
More on reviews:
The Magic Marketing Power of Customer Reviews
Whatever traditional or special marketing approach you use, never underestimate the potential of satisfied customers to grow your business. Work on building that solid word-of-mouth reputation, and you will become a stronger brand than you ever imagined.
Do you ask your customers for recommendation and leads? Share your experience with word-of-mouth marketing in the comments below. You can also tell how you were influenced by a recommendation!
If you enjoyed this article, you should know that the best way to get those recommendations and leads is to be Customer Success focused:
9 Tips and Guidelines for High Quality Customer Service and Satisfaction
About the most advanced SEO rank tracking solution on the market
We may have started from tracking only the most basic Google ranks for a handful of users, but now we are the most advanced SEO rank tracker on the market. Here is just some of what we can do for your SEO in 2019:
Deep Google Rank Tracking – The golden standard for 2019, no one else can currently match:
- Exact geo-targeted ranks down to neighborhood and airport levels
- Track by mobile OS and device type
- Track by a user’s UI language
- Track specific SERP elements such as Local Pack, Business map listings, and the Video Carousel
5 additional rank trackers in one tool – Also track all local Yahoo!, Bing, and Amazon versions, as well as Yandex and YouTube.
Detailed SEO Audit reports – Ready within minutes to hours! Get to know any website’s SEO technical health down to the smallest of details.
Full SERPs – See the progress of the entire Top100 search results for any keyword on any of the search engines that we support.
Monthly search volume revealed – For Google, Bing, Amazon and YouTube.
All our features, including the tool itself, are 100% white label. Part of our customer success focus is to make sure you showcase your logo and brand, while we power you behind the scenes.
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