Reference Selling: the best way to convince customers
Satisfied customers are the best advertisement and the best protection against competitors.
If your customers are satisfied, everyone should know that. On the one hand, good reference selling can generate new prospects and convert leads into customers. On the other hand, it also helps with customer loyalty.
References are also interesting for your own employees. Nothing gives more motivation than a satisfied customer. However, many companies have a hard time creating compelling reference stories. What matters? That’s what this post reveals.
Reference stories significantly influence the purchase decision
Consumer reviews of their product and service experience have a significant impact on the buying and decision making processes of other consumers. This development confirms a 2017 GfK Survey GfK survey by Greven Medien: Two-thirds (66.4%) of German citizens no longer make a purchase decision without prior examination of reviews on the Internet. 31.9% of all respondents say that reviews in online portals strongly influence their decision.
Reference stories – The look behind the scenes
What’s most interesting: what was the customer’s problem and how was it solved? What was the supplier’s approach and what were the challenges? These “behind the scene” moments are very important to other customers to see if the company can deliver flexible solutions and has the right expertise. If you already have solutions for well-known customers, you automatically receive a trust. Reference stories are an important selling point, especially for new customer acquisition.
How to get a great reference story
If you want to stand out from the competition, you can not deal without reference marketing. However, many companies have a hard time creating references.
These are the typical success factors, so that a good reference story is created in the end:
- Good input from all concerned
Only when all the exciting facts are compiled, an exciting reference story can be written.
- Motivate the customer to a reference story
Often the customer has his hands full and does not wait to get additional work. Good research helps in advance.
- Lively narrative style
Nobody likes to read miserably long texts – more success is achieved with crisp short sentences and pictorial language that arouses emotions.
- Matching artwork
Again, emotional, exciting hangers achieve the best effect e.g. photos of the work or its result are more exciting than a picture of any company building. The most impressive effect creates the presentation of the reference story with a video.
- Good input from all concerned
Great reference stories – facts are not everything
Creating reference stories, is basically not different than painting. The pencil creates a foundation that has been achieved through cooperation with the customer. But it really does not become interesting until more colors are added and you begin to “paint”. Attention, that is not meant to create untruths. It is not entirely uninteresting how many employees the company of the customer has or how long the company already exists. But it is not the most important thing. More identification potential for other customers is provided by e.g. a concrete and nameable success, which resulted from the use of the new product. Scenic and detailed descriptions also arouse the reader’s interest. It is also often a good idea to look at history to illustrate the enormous development of the customer, to whom the new solution has its share.
How to implement reference stories in everyday life?
Obtaining the right information and structuring a reference story is not easy for many. Often, creating a good story takes up a lot of time or is postponed because daily business is a priority.
Now there is a tool that makes reference stories simple, structured, and easy to create. </ strong>
The Reference Manager provides a template for the creation of reference stories and helps to break down and write down the customer project in a structured way in its work steps, challenges and solutions. So no information is forgotten. Pictures and videos can also be recorded.
Collaboration with colleagues and customers is simplified. All the information you need can be directly recorded by colleagues, e.g. information obtained in sales or customer service. The communication with the customer in the form of conversations and E-mails is also documented simply and quickly for later insights to the reference. This also includes approvals for the use of the reference by the customer, so that these can be traced at any time.
The Reference Manager also helps keep track of things. The status shows the editing phase of each reference story. Is the reference story available to the customer for approval or does a colleague need to provide input? It’s easy to understand everything.
Now create the basis for good reference selling and create exciting reference stories:
Learn more about the Reference Manger!