Finding new customers is one of the most important and difficult tasks undertaken by any business manager. Advertising and prospecting are two common methods that most companies employ to find new customers. Referrals are also a very important way for growing companies to obtain new customers. Associate referrals, bird-dog referrals and referrals from existing customers are three ways Emergent utilizes referrals for finding new customers.
Emergent is a Value Added Reseller (VAR) that specializes in communication technology solutions that provide customers with a competitive advantage in their market or helps them add more profit to the bottom line. Since 1988, Emergent has been providing Orlando and Central Florida clients with telephone systems, structured wiring, managed IT services and more. Emergent has strived to judiciously select an exceptional staff and a portfolio of suppliers like no other in the Orlando, Florida area. Emergent sets the benchmark that others follow.
Associate referrals at Emergent come from businesses involved with Emergent in various Orlando civic organizations, industry associations, clubs and Chambers of Commerce. The members and associates are familiar with the qualifications, abilities and performance of Emergent and know that when they give a referral, Emergent will take care of them. However, exchanging referrals in this type of environment has mixed results. Leads can vary from cold, with little chance of conversion, to hot and ready to sign.
Another type of referral that Emergent has great success with is its bird-dog referral program. A select group of about ten Orlando top sales professionals in specific industries form a tight relationship in which the members actively seek and point out customers for one another. These Orlando sales people are out there every day looking for new customers for themselves. It is not that hard to also look for opportunities for your fellow bird-dogs. With ten like-minded people out there every day looking for business for one another their efforts have been multiplied ten-fold. When a sale is made from this type of referral the bird-dog gets a monetary finders-fee (2%) from the sales person who made the sale. The rewards are then two-fold. The members have nine professional sales people looking for leads, and when they give a lead that converts they get a treat.
Although associate referrals and bird-dog referrals are important, customer referrals are the most effective at winning new customers. Nothing speaks louder than actions over a period of time. When you take care of customers by consistently meeting their needs and always surpassing their expectations, they can’t help but tell their constituents about you. A good testimonial from a long time customer is as good as money in the bank when seeking new business from a lead that came from that happy customer.
In conclusion, the three types of referrals are Associate referrals, bird-dog referrals and referrals from existing customers. These methods for obtaining new customers can be far more effective than advertising or cold calling. Using the referral process properly can also be a lot less expensive than other methods of building a customer base. Finding less expensive ways to run a business is also very important but we’ll save that for another day.