Success in MSP marketing takes time. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Every now and then you’ll find that ‘sweet spot’ and become such a “hot commodity” that referrals start coming in quickly. Even then, the best way to reach such a level of successful operations is through time and strategy. You’ve got to develop your marketing campaigns with referrals in mind and communicate that to your advertisement, sales, and public relations people.
Below are several tips to help get the ball rolling:
- It’s a snowball, not a cannonball
- Practice excellence
- Ensure referrals are qualitative
- Referrals and inbound marketing are symbiotic
- Referrals are more than just cold calls
- A mind-set focused on referrals – you get what you give
It’s A Snowball, Not A Cannonball
A snowball starts small and gets big. As it rolls downhill, it reaches greater and greater size until it becomes a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, a cannonball moves quickly and makes a big splash. But the cannonball sinks below the waves and is gone, while the snowball lasts longer. Referral marketing is a snowball. You’re going to see better returns over time with this approach, but it takes a while to build momentum. You’re going to have to teach your team how referrals work, you’re going to have to network with similar businesses and refer between one another, and you’re going to have to persevere.
One way for your MSP marketing organization to see increased referrals is through simple excellence. You want everything about your business to be top-tier. Here’s a great example: say you’ve got a client who is a real jerk for no good reason. Now say you treat them with absolute professionalism, a smile, and the perseverance to maintain services even as all types of abuses are hurled at you. Now say after you finish with that client, they realize they were in the wrong. Guess what they’re going to do? Tell everyone they possibly can about how excellent your MSP was. “I was yelling and cussing and totally wrong, and the guy just smiled, nodded, and still got my systems back online.” Granted, such altruistic attitude reversal isn’t common, but that’s not the point: there is a domino effect to providing excellent service, the ultimate result of which is impossible to predict. So get in the habit of always being excellent, and you will get referrals.
Ensure Referrals Are Qualitative
Don’t forget to ask for referrals from clients. But you can’t just ask for any referral. If you do that, your clients will send you new customers who are worthwhile, and new customers who will basically waste your time and stress you out. Instead, ask your clients about prospective customers this way: “Which folks do you really like working with?” Go this route, and you’ll get the cream of the crop while avoiding the curds.
Referrals And Inbound Marketing Are Symbiotic
There’s no exclusivity here. There’s an overlap. Have you ever seen those rings that are conjoined to make the Olympic symbol? Take two of those rings, and you’ve got the relationship between referral and inbound marketing. They’re different, but they’re linked together. Your inbound marketing solutions should be built with referrals in mind.
Referrals Are More Than Just Cold Calls
When you’ve got a client who has been referred to you, they’re operating in a capacity that’s much greater than that of someone cold-calling your company. They’ve already decided to trust you in their mind, and they’re likely going to make a purchase. So bend over backward, and treat a referral like an existing client–as much as is expedient, anyway.
A Mind-Set Focused On Referrals – You Get What You Give
If you want to get referrals, give referrals, and educate staff on doing the same. It’s a quid pro quo situation. Colleagues with whom you network in your local tech community will send clients to you if you send clients to them.
MSP marketing that manages to institute a successful referral network can overcome common cold-call marketing with time. Structure your referral generation process correctly, and you may be able to make your contact number private.