Imagine that you are talking to a friend about their experience working with a new CPA firm for their construction business. They rave about how practical, welcoming, and result-oriented their accountants were, even giving you the firm’s contact information and encouraging you to follow that company’s Facebook page.
When the time comes to file your business’s taxes or apply for a loan, which CPA firm are you most likely to choose? According to a report by Digital Intelligence Today, 92% of people will trust a company because of a strong peer recommendation. Likewise, 70% of people use consumer opinions posted online when deciding to trust or use a business.
So, are you going to use that CPA firm for your business? The data says that most likely, you will.
As a network of industry professionals looking to connect, educate and promote, LinkedIn is the ideal place for you to earn your client’s trust through positive recommendations and leverage your professional referrals. Here’s how you can utilize the site to increase your business’s consumer trust and convince prospective clients:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Your company is good at what it does and your clients know it, now it’s time for them to share their thoughts! Unlike many other social networks, LinkedIn dedicates an entire portion of your profile to “Recommendations” that serve as informal referrals for all who view your profile. Use this section as a tool for your network connections and consumers to promote your business. You can request a referral through the recommendation feature on your client’s LinkedIn page.
You can also request a LinkedIn recommendation through phone or email. Approaching your connection through another platform may increase their awareness of your request. Consider that on average, people browse their email 1-3 times a day and check their phone over 150 times. Make this outside approach user-friendly by guiding them to your LinkedIn and instructing them how to write a recommendation.
Create a template that will help them communicate their thoughts in a compelling way. Important questions for them to consider include:
- How did you and [person/company] meet?
- How long have you been working with [person/company]?
- Why did you choose [person/company] over their competitors?
- What results did [person/company] produce and how has it improved your life/business?
- What are [person/company’s] key strengths?
Dig Through Your Connections
Your LinkedIn connections are providing you with a hidden, free potential customer base. Where are these potential clients hidden? In your connections’ connections! When you are a 1st degree connection to a user, like a past client or partner, LinkedIn allows you to view their connections as well. Use this feature to your advantage. Browse through their network and identify 3-5 people that could be great potential clients and request an email introduction. A personal introduction provides you a better opportunity to build new relationships and market your services or products.
Start by identifying your networks’ connections on their profile here:
Once you have located a high-potential lead, reach out to your mutual connection. This person is doing you a favor, so make sure they feel comfortable with presenting you to their colleague. A good introductory message is simple and straight to the point, similar to this:
Interact With Your Network
Did you know that LinkedIn users are 50% more likely to buy from a business that they have interacted with? There are many great ways to interact with your network and build your potential referral list. Join LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your target audience industry to attract and retain clients. Share updates about your services on your page to showcase that you are reliable enough to use and recommend. Increase your connection base so more people view your referrals and are attracted to your business. The more you interact with your network on LinkedIn, the more likely they will be to view your current recommendations, use your services and refer you to others.
You can further ensure that you will have a steady stream of potential clients by investing time to build strategic partnerships on LinkedIn. A good strategic partner will send high-potential leads your way and assist you in growing your business both on- and offline.
Receiving a referral is not the only way to establish credibility or generate leads within your client base. Giving a referral or providing a LinkedIn recommendation to an individual is also a fantastic way to increase your value to your customer, because you become an important source of helpful information. Serving as a source for quality referrals gives previous customers a reason to reach out to you in the future, strengthening your relationship with them and increasing the likelihood that they will use your services again. Providing quality referrals also increases the chance that they will refer you as a trustworthy and beneficial business to potential leads.
A large client base and consumer trust are essential to your business. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for you to not only find clients and connections, but to showcase your services through your network. Follow these tips to start earning more referrals on LinkedIn today.
Having some challenges with LinkedIn? No time to use the platform effectively? Maybe you are not sure what to do with your LinkedIn connections or are you wondering how to get more referrals? To help answer these questions and more, I am hosting a FREE Webinar on Earn More with LinkedIn in 2017.
If you are not able to make it, register anyway, I will email you the recording which will be available for one week after the webinar.