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11 The 7 Stages of a Referral Generation

Referral CycleReferrals happen, thank goodness, but for too many, they happen randomly, almost accidentally.

One of the keys to tapping the systematic generation of referrals is to identify and address the customer touch points that add up to lead a customer to the logical and emotional decision that your organization is referable.

I say this often, but it’s worth repeating – every person, place and thing in your business that comes into contact with a prospect or a customer is performing a marketing function. Your organization’s referability is being decided by the sum total of those contacts.

It’s so important to figure out the critical stages involved in developing a customer and then fill the gaps in every contact – by fill I mean, make sure that every contact is a marketing contact – and that includes things like delivery, customer service, even billing.

The 7 Stages and logical touch points along this customer referral life cycle look something like this.

  1. Know – Your ads, article, and referred leads
  2. Like – Your web site, reception, and email newsletter
  3. Trust – Your marketing kit, white papers, and sales presentations
  4. Trial – Webinars, evaluations, and nurturing activities
  5. Core – Fulfillment, new customer kit, delivery, and financial arrangements
  6. Repeat – Post customer survey, cross sell presentations, and quarterly events
  7. Refer – Results reviews, partner introductions, peer 2 peer webinars, and community building

I suggest creating a diagram consisting of the stages above and mapping out every touch point you have or should have before you ever start dreaming about a world flooded with referrals.