Facebook? Friends and family? Those professional sign spinners you see on the side of the road? If you had to pick the one source that gives small business owners the biggest boost, what would it be?
Although it’s super easy to get swept up by the latest and greatest social platforms and niche networks (yes I’m talking about you Pinterest), according to a new study of over 1,000 small businesses conducted by Manta, there’s still no better substitute for growing your business than one time-tested method.
More than half of respondents (55%) indicated customer referrals as the primary source for new leads--trumping social networking sites, meeting people at events, and connections from friends and family.
Similarly, 56% of those polled say they base their decision to use a new vendor or work with a new business partner on recommendations from people they know.
When a customer recommends your business to someone they know they’re giving you a personal stamp of approval and that’s worth way more than any amount of advertising you could buy.
Yet 22% of respondents indicated they hadn’t asked for a recommendation and that means a real missed opportunity given the important role they play in the buying process.
Whether you’re looking to grow your customer base or trying to find a new vendor or business partner, referrals are likely to play a huge role. As such, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to spread the love on your behalf.
Create an area on your website for collecting and showcasing feedback and testimonials. Ask your customers to share their stories. By doing so, you’re helping to build credibility and buyer trust.
What about you?
What percentage of your new customers come from word-of-mouth referrals?
By: Shawn Graham