There is no doubt that boosting sales is not an easy task especially in the renewable energy business. The nature of the industry makes it almost impossible to have repeat customers within a short period of time. It takes money, patience, and effort to win over a new client since people are still hostile to change; switching to solar and other forms of sustainable energy. However, with the right strategy, your existing clients can become your ambassadors and begin to win new clients for you via word-of-mouth.
Ask yourself, would you go for a product your friends and family recommend to you or will you just buy anything randomly and hope that it works? I guess you will go by what your friends have tested and trusted. Interestingly, did you know that referral marketing results to 5x more sales than a paid media impressions and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by someone they know? With this in mind, enabling your customers to do some of the marketing should be a priority for you and your team. It saves you the stress of having to convince new leads that your systems work, you simply reassure them of what they already know.
There are probably 3 to 5 competitors within a 15 km radius vying for the same deals as you and utilizing the same advert channels, but whoever wins the referral game will ultimately make more sales with less effort. This is a no-brainer, get the consumer on your side and focus on prompt and professional service delivery.
It also comes with other benefits that include:
- Reduction in sales and marketing budget, which allows you to channel your funds and energy towards other aspects of the business.
- It snowballs (referrals breed more referrals). When someone makes a purchase based on a recommendation, they are more likely to recommend others too, and the cycle goes on and on.
- It significantly increases your closing ratio. According to a renowned sales trainer, Tom Hopkins, the closing ratio for non-qualified leads is 10% versus a 60% closing ratio for qualified leads.
- Most importantly, it serves as a pointer that you provide a tremendous service. When new clients are referred to you, it is a testament that you are reliable and trustworthy.
CAVEAT: Before you go all-in on implementing a referral strategy, think about your customer service, the quality and efficiency of your batteries, inverters, panels etc. If your customers are not satisfied with any of these, forget about referrals. As a matter of fact, expect them to discourage others from dealing with you.
Most times, you can easily get caught up with working in your business, but it pays better to work ON the business. Take the time to create an efficient referral strategy, outsource if you must. Randomly asking people to refer you is not a strategy. If results matter to you, ensure you have a system in place.