While it falls under the umbrella of ‘B2B Marketing,’ financial services marketing is different from other forms of B2B Marketing. An effective B2B financial services marketing strategy will breakdown the complicated products and services that are offered by financial services firms into digestible pieces of information that are easy for the user to understand.
With financial services marketing, it is also particularly important to ensure your marketing strategies will help you retain customers. When you effectively retain customers and continue to exceed their expectations and add value to their business, they are more likely to recommend your services to a peer. This is an extremely effective marketing tactic for financial services firms as people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
Why Referral Marketing Is so Effective
84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness.
Referrals, or business introductions, are key to generating leads for financial services businesses. Getting these referrals, however, isn’t always easy. While asking for referrals comes naturally to some in the financial industry, others don’t find it so easy. Sometimes, it’s simply the case that the thought of asking a client, friend or colleague for a referral hasn’t even occurred to them.
How to Generate Referrals
Introductions can come from a number of different sources. In most cases, people who trust your ability to provide the financial services that you specialise in will be happy to refer your name.
The following are some of the simplest ways to generate referrals that can be incorporated into your existing daily business routine.
- Mention Referrals Early in the Business Conversation: When you start working with a new client and are discussing what your business is about and how you work, it can be a good time to tell them how important referrals are to your business. If you mention right at the start that you’d appreciate the opportunity to be introduced to other businesses, they are more likely to do it once you’ve done a great job for them.
- Follow Up on Positive Feedback: If you receive an email or phone call from a particularly happy customer praising your work, you can simply respond by thanking them for their feedback and asking if they’d happen to know of others who could benefit from your business’ services.
- Set A Referral Goal: If you’ve been considering a referral scheme but don’t have the motivation to get started, it can be helpful to set a referral goal. For example, aim to get two referrals each week. Make sure you record all your referrals and who they are from so that you can follow up and thank them if you are successful.
- Be Specific: It’s important to tell your client or peer exactly what you are looking for when you ask for a referral. If you’re looking for clients of a certain size or if you specialise in a specific niche, then make sure that you mention it. It’s important to tell the person you are asking exactly who your target audience is so that you don’t waste time following up on referrals that are not relevant to your business.
- Ensure You Provide Exceptional Service: You won’t be successful in generating referrals unless you are offering something that is of superior value to your customer. You have to ensure the quality of your service is above and beyond so that your client is confident in referring you.
- Develop a Referral System: Reciprocity is key to referrals. If you can give a referral to one of your clients, they will be more likely to refer you in return. In addition, if you can help your clients by referring them to someone else, they will be even happier with the value that you provide their business, which will boost your reputation.
- Create a Customer Loyalty Program: Loyal customers are more likely to become brand evangelists and are more likely to refer other clients to your business. By developing and maintaining a customer loyalty program that incentivises customers to keep coming back, they are more likely to tell others to do the same.
- Network: Try to make the most out of every networking opportunity that you come across. It can be useful to plan out what you will say about your business in advance and make sure that you speak to at least three people at each event. When you speak to someone who trusts you and what your business provides, they may enquire about your services themselves, or pass on your details to someone else that they know who may be interested.
There are many factors to be considered when, and if, you ask for referrals for your financial services business. The above are just ideas that may help you. For more information on generating referrals, or for help with your wider financial services marketing strategy, get in touch with the B2B marketing specialists at the Lead Agency.
Want to proactively plan for future success? Start developing your business’ strategy for next year with our blog on B2B marketing 2020 trends.