When I first started out in selling, it was drummed into me early on to ask for referrals. It made a whole load of sense and I did win business as a result of asking for referrals to other possible customers.
This was an example of Social Media at work in the world of selling. Do a good job for someone, ask them for help in finding others that you can also do a great job for, keep doing this and you have the beginnings of a pipeline.
In the new age of Social Media the basic principles haven’t really changed so much. However, we now have the benefit of the Internet to help us. We can tell our story to so many individuals and organisations using tools like Linked in, Facebook, personal Blogs and many others.
Recently I personally witnessed the power of Facebook referrals. My wife and I fancied having a meal out the other day and had recently seen a friend highlight their great night out at a new award winning restaurant. Guess what? We had a great night and posted a simple three line comment about what a fantastic meal it was. No doubt our contacts will read that update and some of them will think about trying out the restaurant.
Of course the downside of this is that if you do a bad job then the world will find out quicker than ever before. It’s a great incentive for organisations to focus on delivering great customer service.
Your sales team is sitting there ready to go. They number in the millions and you can find them in all of your social networks. Go talk to them.
(This example is a consumer focussed business, but the principles and practice are just as valid in the B2B world).