We’re sticklers for organization and measuring results. When we created Hello Referrals, we were focused on a few simple core things that we wanted to achieve. Create an easy to use tool to track, send, receive, and measure the results of word of mouth marketing and networking. We didn’t want to overwhelm users with data that they didn’t need. We didn’t want to make the system bloated with information that was unimportant or irrelevant to a single customer’s ability to win more business, know where it came from, and encourage more of it. We wanted people to use it and consider it a helpful and valuable utility. In it’s infancy as an idea (over a beer two years ago on a summer patio), we felt that the cornerstone of it’s usefulness would lie on it’s ability to track leads and referrals simply and quickly. That night, we discussed why someone would want to track leads and referrals in the first place.
Mike Macedonio at The Referral Institute says it well….
“The referral process is about committing to a series of actions designed to create a result, both for you and for the other people involved, and then measuring it and improving the system. As long as you track your activities, it’s not that hard to measure the results.
When you do not track the referral process, the lag time between participating in networking activities, getting referrals, and ultimately closing the resulting business inevitably creates a significant challenge. Without tracking the system, you cannot pinpoint which of your networking activities have led to the referrals which end up resulting in new business for you.”
Jeff Korhan also illustrates the point well. We’ve cited a few excerpts and you can read the post on his blog here.
He explains the importance of tracking your sources of revenue and what arises as a result of the effort.
- Quantification removes all doubts. Either there is a result or there isn’t. It’s that simple.
- Numbers are a universal language that can be easily shared among team members.
- You become aware of patterns that can (and should be) studied further.
- Key influencers and supporters are identified and more readily appreciated, and therefore stay on your radar.
- This historical data will help you plan for next year; and that is a process you should be commencing right now
We felt that there was a need there. Tracking your referrals, leads, and networking activity equates to increased business, more closed opportunities, and more time for you to do what counts – networking. It’s helpful to know that the printer in your network sent you $15,000 of business this past quarter. It’s helpful to know that 50% of the referrals you receive you close. It’s valuable to know that you sent your friend – the commercial insurance broker – 6 new pieces of business last month based on your recommendation. It’s helpful to have a tool that reminds you to stay on top of opportunities and leads you send and receive. It’s helpful to have those leads and referrals housed in a simple to access and reference database that ensures they’re accounted for and managed properly. It’s important to track your referrals until they either pan out or don’t. Referrals and leads generated from your networking efforts are precious opportunities. Giving them the attention they deserve is essential, and tracking your word of mouth marketing activity is a key way to generating more referrals for your business.
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