“The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.”
- Shiv Singh, Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Marketing Transformation at Visa
Asking for a referral seems like common sense and an extremely EASY tactic for salespeople to utilize to increase their sales but in the midst of a sale, unforuantely the last thing on most sales reps minds is their next customer. Instilling an understanding of referrals and making capturing referrals a goal needs to be part of every manager's jobs. Not only are referrals easier to sell for your sales team (Referrals have a 61% Closing Rate; Fresh-ups have a 23% Closing Rate. - NADA) but referrals cost you less and make you more money (The Average Gross for a Dealership Referrals = $1,298, Fresh Ups = $817. - NADA) in the long run (The lifetime value of a new referral customer is 16% higher than your average customer. – Wharton School of Business). So, here are 3 easy ways to ensure your sales reps are keeping "asking for a referral" at the top of their mind.
1. Sell them on "What’s in it for me"?
- Growing their business exponentially - People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Nielsen
- They give better reviews - Referrals have a 96% CSI, Compared to 73% for Fresh-Ups. - NADA
- There is SIGNIFICANTLY less effort in selling a referred customer compared to a fresh up - Referrals are 4x more valuable than a web lead. - Ken Krogue, President and co-founder of InsideSales.com
- Let your customers do the work for you - 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience (Texas Tech) and more than 50% of people are likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program. – Software Advice
- Their friends and family can reap benefits too - what's better than being able to tell your friends and family that if you help me succeed, I can reward you with money!?
2. Incentivize them
Incentives work. How do we know this? We help dealerships every single day bring in leads and retain customers through incentive driven programs. Direct mail programs, email campaigns, referral program, website offers, loyalty programs, employee rewards and even in-store events promotions. Check out how we partnered with one dealership to increase their digital referral lead generation by 20%.
Even more so... you pay your salespeople for a multitude of reasons, receiving a good online review, check, selling XX amount of vehicles this week, CHECK, selling this specific vehicle this weekend, CHECK? So, why are you not holding referrals (a higher grossing sold vehicle) to the same standards or more? Hold a contest for the salesperson who brings in the most vehicles sold through your referral program!
3. Do not make them pay a portion of your referral reward..
This outdated methodology of nickel and diming your team for a successful referral sale to cover the "customer incentive" does the exact opposite of persuading them to ask for referrals. Why take from them for bringing in a SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive lead. A referral program is a marketing tool. If you don’t have your reps paying on a truecar, edmunds or cars.com lead, correct? A referral lead should be treated the exact same… (maybe even better…. 😉)
When your sales team focuses on generating referrals, they are not only growing their personal business and brand, they’re growing your store’s business and ultimately saving your store money... REMINDER: The Average Gross for a Dealership Referrals = $1,298, Fresh Ups = $817. - NADA. Still unsure? Ask Jack Cochonour of Bettenhausen Automotive (one of our first referral program customers) his thoughts on Bettenhausen's Incentivefox Referral Rewards program results, “Our top salesperson sold around 340 vehicles last year and he had the MOST referrals in the platform, coincidence? I think not.”. Check out how Jack sells over 30-40 incremental vehicles per through their Incentivefox Referral Rewards program.
Ready to start your driving more showroom traffic through your dealership;s own, custom, automated referral rewards program today? Let's Go!