Chances are when talking to a new B2B potential client, they tell me that a lot of their historical business comes from word of mouth or referrals.
The reason they’re often wanting to do marketing, or get a marketing strategy put into place is to attract strangers rather than purely relying on recommendations.
I get it myself, with clients often referring me to their associates, friends, others. It’s all great and very well received – but for me I know that anyone recommended to me will ultimately look at my site, my LinkedIn profile and any news that’s been written.
What I always recommend to any potential client that gets their business purely through referrals is not to rely solely on a ‘thumbs-up’ from a client. It has to also be about the brand experience the new potential clients receive when they ultimately (and let’s face it, they will) have a good mooch around your website.
B2B buyers will often have spent up to 75% of their time (and sometimes more if they can buy direct online) making their decision before even picking up the phone or engaging with you.
So what does your online presence say about you?
If a client or associate has waxed lyrical about how good you or your products are, and then the buyer goes to your site and gets a shocking experience, it’s going to make him or her start to question the recommendation.
I often say your website is like your shop window. You need to set out clearly what it is that you make, offer or do.
If you have a website full of spinning carousels, old stock photography, or wording containing cryptic, unclear messages, you’re going to leave a lot of visitors totally confused!
If you have an old blog with old postings, or an out of date news page, it doesn’t look good either.
I could go on, but I’m sure you catch the drift.
By combining the power of word of mouth marketing, with a fantastic brand experience when they come and check out your digital presence you’re off to an even better start:-
Back-up word of mouth recommendations with:-
- An up to date, well designed and responsive website
- A strong and clear message as to what your products or services are
- Further ‘social proof’ in the form of client logos, testimonials and case studies
- A good strong up to date twitter feed and following
- Strong linkedin profiles for your key management and outward facing teams
- Regular and clear email marketing in place to keep feeding communications
Get that kind of marketing right, you’ll not only convert those recommendations, you’ll also be on track to attract strangers and turn them into opportunities too.
Now that’s a fantastic position to be in and definitely one to talk about!