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How much does your company already spend on lead generation?

Does your company examine the cost of leads on a per lead basis?  Your company is likely spending between $300 and $1500 per lead.  Wouldn’t it be nice to stretch the marketing budget by adding new leads at no cost? The cost of obtaining info about the networks of your company’s satisfied customers is negligible if time is already budgeted for win loss analysis.  If your company is one of the 20% that is conducting regular win loss analysis with their clients, there is no reason not to add one simple question to the analysis: “Would you be willing to recommend our company to the individuals in your network?”

 

If the customer is so satisfied, then why don’t referrals happen without a prompt?

The answer is fairly simple: customers are not of the mindset to wonder how they can help you.  It doesn’t occur to them.  If what you provided worked, they figure that it will work for whoever else you’re offering it to as well.  Bridging that cognitive gap for them is as easy as bringing to their attention their ability to make your work easier.  They need to be asked about their willingness to provide referrals, and then if they’re willing, they need to be contacted promptly.  Transversely, the typical provider of customer satisfaction (you and your peers) figures that if the customer is so pleased with what they’re receiving, then they must be out there telling other people about it. 60% of the time, that isn’t the case. 

 

A win loss analysis is the perfect venue for opening the door to new networks.

Sales people cite two main reasons as to why they don’t typically ask for referrals:

  1. They are not sure that the customer is satisfied enough to warrant a referral
  2. They are unclear about the proper timing in asking for a referral.

 

Without a win loss analysis, it can be difficult for your reps to know whether it would be appropriate to ask for a referral.  Is the customer actually satisfied? How satisfied? Why?  Conducting this type of analysis brings the answers to those questions to the forefront.  Win loss analysis reminds the customer what his business needs were, and how your company helped solve their issues. What the customer says during the interview should paint a clear picture of whether your company has earned the right to ask for access to their network.

 

A positive win loss analysis also provides perfect timing to ask about the willingness to refer.  Their satisfaction is fresh in their mind.  Customers are happy to think that they might be able to pass on that satisfaction to their peers and friends.  Best practices mandate that once the customer has expressed a willingness to refer, your rep should be notified within 48 hours, and the rep should ask the customer for the referral within 72 hours.  Next time you have one of these satisfied customers on the line, just ask: “Would you be willing to recommend our company to the individuals in your network?”