How to overcome the fear of asking for referrals

Even with all the new social and digital channels available for marketing these days, word of mouth and referrals remain one of the most impactful ways a business can gain the attention of potential new customers and gain their trust. This is especially true for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) whose business relies on customer trust.

The impact of referrals for the business is clear. According to survey data, 92 percent of customers trust referrals from people they know, and customers referred by a friend are four times more likely to buy than those who found a company through other means. Referral leads, additionally, have a 30 percent higher conversion rate than leads through any other channel.

Why? Because people trust the people they know, especially when it comes to making big purchases or choosing ongoing service providers. This is especially true for small businesses, who rely on referrals more than any other size business to grow.

Yet, many businesses don’t leverage the full power that referrals can bring to their business. Why? Many are too scared to ask happy customers to make referrals or references for them, therefore preventing them from reaping the benefits they could provide. There are several things that an MSP business owner can do to overcome this fear:

Share Customer Stories

One way for a business to share customer stories is through telling those stories themselves. Customer testimonials are a great way to capture the success a business has had with its customers and reinforce its ability to provide quality results. These customer testimonials can take several different forms, including video, written content or even reviews on social media or the web. MSPs can proactively get these reviews by reaching out to customers after a successful project or other event, asking them to share their story.

Offer Incentives

While customers might have a great story to tell, sometimes they need a nudge to tell it. MSPs can consider offering a small incentive, such as a discount or a gift card to a popular store, for those customers who do share their stories or write a positive review on social media. Sometimes a simple incentive is all customers need to share their story, and, in doing that, they are helping tell their stories of success to the broader world.

Create a Formal Referral Program

A formal referral program can help provide the structure for an ongoing relationship with customers around referrals. This type of program typically rewards customers who refer new business to the company.

A formal referral program provides structure for customers to provide their referrals, as well as helps track an MSP’s progress to make sure they don’t fall behind on asking for referrals to encourage future business, as well as provide incentives to their customers. There are several platforms that can help facilitate this for MSPs to make it as easy as possible to launch a comprehensive program.

Go Above and Beyond

While it’s not a guaranteed path to a referral, it goes without saying that happy customers will share their experiences without even asking. By focusing on continuously going above and beyond for customers, inevitably some of them will refer you to their friends or peers in their industry for new business.

With the many benefits that referrals can bring, MSPs should not let fear get in the way. By providing incentives and a programmatic approach, referrals should be easy to get for any MSP that’s acting as a trusted advisor to their customers and providing true value. By putting fear aside, an MSP can reap the benefits and help many more potential customers with their technology and service needs.

About MSP Corp

MSP Corp understands you’ve worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. With a mission to be a world-class business partner for MSP owners across Canada, we actively seek to acquire and partner with owners looking to secure the value of the business they have built and provide a seamless exit process that ensures business continuity and employee and client stability.

Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.