Referral: the act of directing someone to a different place or person for information, help, or action, often to a person or group with more knowledge or power (Cambridge Dictionaries Online).
Referrals have traditionally been used to garner business for professional services firms. Trust and good relationships are created and built upon through hours of networking and recommendations from current clients. And this approach remains a highly valuable way of acquiring work.
However, while word-of-mouth is still an effective tool, it is no longer enough on its own and, in the current climate, fewer clients are being won using this technique. In short, traditional marketing methods are no longer as impactful as they once were, as the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people research and buy from professional services companies - and, indeed, businesses across all industries.
So perhaps you’re finding that you are reaching fewer people and are beginning to wonder how you can make more connections again.
Now, prospective buyers seek out information about a company online before committing to doing business with them. Like the referral system, trust and genuine relationships lie at the heart of this new model – but it is powered by content and marketing automation rather than conversations and handshakes.
Let’s take a look at what this means for your organisation and how you can adapt, to successfully thrive in this changing environment.