For London businessmen seeking to acquire new clients, there are three terms that they must familiarize themselves with: referrals, lead generation, and networking events. Individually, each of these offers an advantage that holds a great promise for business growth. When taken together, however, these three create the perfect recipe to skyrocketing sales and protecting investments.
Lead Generation and Referrals
Leads are basically lists of potential clients that a company could obtain via demographics, cold calls, or other marketing strategies. While leads do not exactly promise conversion to sales, they are the most likely people to avail of certain products and services. Referrals, on the other hand, lists of people that you obtain through partners and clients. Also, they do not exactly convert to sales, but they hold great potential.
The key difference between the two is that leads are still just lists of people who may or may not know you, while referrals have most probably been briefed about you. It may not seem like a significant difference, but upon initial interaction there are higher chances of converting referrals than leads, simply because they are ready and waiting for your call. Leads may be taken aback by sudden contact from you, and can still doubt your credibility; with referrals, however, these are reduced because of a common party that you both trust, and thus a better relationship right off the bat.
A networking event hosted by a trusted name like BNI London is a very promising opportunity to establish relationships with other businessmen and field experts. You can consider this a mutual relationship where both parties can benefit simply by exchanging referrals and advice. By simply joining a networking event, you are basically helping protect your company both internally and externally—internally because of the great promise through growth, and externally because of newly gained partners and friends, whose support can stabilize your name in the industry.
While networking events provide you great referrals, the process does not stop there. If the referrals given to you were not part of your original leads, and you do manage to convert them into sales, then you can gain a new possible target market. Try to identify why your referrals decided to do business with you and use that information to create a new set of leads.
By building good external relationships through networking events, you are securing your company’s future and growth while helping other businessmen in the process.
What’s Better: A Lead or a Referral?, Entrepreneur.com
Why Referral Marketing Works, Entrepreneur.com
How to Increase Your Customer Referrals, Entrepreneur.com
The Pros and Cons of Network Marketing, Entrepreneur.com