Most mature businesses I meet today are built on referrals. What’s surprising to me that regardless of industry or size, the majority of B2B sales is still happening through someone you know. Nobody is talking about or trying to attract fresh new clients into their fold. Why is this happening?
What Has Been Will Always Be
Admittedly if something’s worked for you and worked well, you’re not going to stop doing it. The same goes for B2B businesses who have built their volume on word-of-mouth and farming relationships to grow existing customers. Why re-invent the wheel? Well, because the rate of referrals or the type of referrals you’re getting might not be the direction you want to go.
The other reason why very few B2B companies are systematically putting together plans in place to go get brand new clients is that even statistically it’s easier to sell to current customers and to prospects who have been referred to you. It’s a higher close rate and a higher value in most cases. So why would you ever want to figure out how to go outside of what’s easy? Again, because it might not be getting you the kind of growth you may want to create in the future.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
The last reason why B2B companies would rather work off of referrals rather than re-create the wheel is because they’re not exactly sure how to go about doing that. As the CEO of a multi Million Dollar Agency once told me “I just don’t know how to get clients without knowing someone on the inside first! I don’t even think that’s possible”. Well, it’s definitely possible and there are great ways to do so.
There’s a Better Way
As a relatively young business with a very specific niche of helping B2B companies reposition their messages and strategy to grow their business, I haven’t had the privilege of a lot of referrals to grow my business. So what I’ve done is what I do for my clients. I’ve differentiated my offering and re-targeted my audience. I’ve changed my messaging to be based on their pain (can’t get new leads because their message isn’t connecting). Then I’ve created events like Roundtables and Keynotes and Power Breakfasts to offer solutions to my target around very costly and persistent pain points. Now I have all the reason in the world to be reaching out to complete strangers who are in my target and inviting them to attend any one of my events and discussions.
If you’re still grazing in the land you know and sticking to only growing through referrals, that’s ok for recreating what you’ve always created. If you want more, start doing things differently and start to see different results!
Want to reposition your messaging to grow your leads? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTubeor connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk