The Power of Referral
If Google and YELP are so powerful, why do people come up to you and ask if you know of a good service, (restaurant, places of interest, handyman, etc.)? It’s because although the internet is a powerful tool, a recommendation of a local source far outweighs an internet search any day of the week.
As a sales professional myself, I know that when someone new is referred to my business, the probability of doing business with that referral is very high. We work hard at what we do... and if done right, fill our sales funnels with quality referrals and opportunities.
We constantly work our client base and many of us join professional sales networking groups ….. why? …. for the REFERRALS! At Kahoolie, we looked at the different ways organizations and companies reach out to their local communities when creating our eCorkboard. In order to connect to their preferred vendors, they either field all the calls from those looking for a service or they build a list of vetted vendors and send the list in response to one's request. The problem we see is that the list is static and it serves nothing more than, well, just a list.
Think about it, once “the list” is in circulation, there’s no way of knowing if it is providing you with any reciprocated opportunities. We’ve looked at that process, found the holes in that approach and developed a system that would help all involved – you, all of your vetted vendors AND all the consumers that have called in for recommendations.
The *win*win*win* trifecta!
Of course there were some hurdles we had to take into consideration.
We needed to build a system that was easy to use and maintain, track all activity and traffic and create a tool that continued to draw consumers back to your site. We also needed a way to allow you to monetize your efforts.
Here are some of the major things that were addressed when building our system:
Your branding and message needed to be prominent. All correspondence had to include your branding so that it was clear where the messages were coming from. Information had to be very easy to find. Vendor information needs to be laid out the same, making it easy for a consumer to find out quickly what they need.
We needed something that would attract a consumer to come back – for a coupon or time sensitive information. As with any coupon system, we did not want to overwhelm the consumer with things they weren’t interested in. We took into consideration all of the non-usable advertising they get in their email. Because of all the junk mail solicitations from unrecognized companies, they typically do not get opened and sent quickly to the trash bin. We created a real-time, ongoing opt-in / opt-out option, only sending consumers notices if they specifically wanted to track announcements /promotions from their recognized preferred group of vendors.
DON'T FRET: We're on it! Reminders sent to your vendors!
We knew that once a vendor created an announcement or offer, you would be the last thing on their minds.
We’ve created gentle automated email reminders, sent to the vendors, reminding them (as an example) that their offer is about to expire – and ask them if they would like to extend or create a new promotion. By creating new coupons / announcements, a vendor can stay “in the know” with those that are following them.
Here’s an example of how tracking helps your vetted vendors: Once a vendor enters a promotion, they can track to see how well it’s doing – # of views, # of people redeemed their offer. If it’s not doing well, the vendor can change the promotion on the fly. Consumers that are tracking them will automatically be notified the following day that a new offer has been entered, bringing them back to YOUR system to check out what the new offer is (ding*ding*...referral marketing!)
Referring customers and vendors to one another
We needed an easy way for vendors to refer people to other vendors and to cross promote one another, ultimately driving more traffic to YOUR system. We wound up building an online referral network right in our program. Accountability is very important. Both you and each one of your vetted vendors have access to the activity circulating within your eCorkboard.
There are several points of concept we’ve addressed with YOU and YOUR BUSINESS in mind. We take pride in staying on trend, therefore our development team is constantly working on strategies that will be to your benefit and take your business to the next level.
We would love the opportunity to show you how! Give us a call at (800) 452-2950 or schedule your demo at www.kahoolie.com.
We look forward to catching up with you soon!