Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketing relies on building relationships to create marketing opportunities. It’s a commonly known fact that most people hate being sold to. It’s also accepted in the marketing industry that people are more likely to buy products from those they trust. When we combine these two facts, we get the basis of P2P marketing and the blueprints for its success.
The most important aspect of this sort of marketing is the trust the seller generates in the potential buyer. To help, we asked 11 members of Forbes Agency Council to share a few tips on how salespeople can develop effective P2P marketing techniques to close sales using the methodology.
1. Make Customers Your Evangelists
One of the best forms of peer-to-peer marketing is mobilizing your existing customers to be evangelists for your brand. Your customers have knowledge about your products and can influence their social circles to buy. Use customers lists and/or social listening to find your advocates, then reach out and ask them. Start the dialogue and results will follow. – Aliza Freud, SheSpeaks, Inc.
2. Be Specific With Your Ask
There’s a natural intention for your customers to recommend you. It’s often never acted on because they’re never asked to. Make it easy for them to act by being specific. Ask for an introduction to a person or organization, and provide context. Being specific makes it turnkey for them, and providing details on what you will share offers additional confidence that you will make them look good. – Andrew Au, Intercept Group
3. Have A Clear, Consistent Message
A key aspect of peer-to-peer marketing is a clear message and consistent call to action. A clear message ensures that all of your brand advocates are sharing the same information, which aids in the frequencies at which their peers hear it — like a walking advertisement. A consistent call to action ensures that when a peer is ready to try the product, they know exactly where to go and what to do. – Tripp Donnelly, REQ
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4. Tap Into Influencer Marketing
Tapping into influencer marketing is an excellent P2P marketing strategy. Influencers are considered by many an extension of their circle of friends, and therefore a trusted voice that will cut through the noise among your target audience. Influencer marketing has a word-of-mouth aspect to it that can move the needle in any P2P marketing strategy. – Emilie Tabor, IMA – Influencer Marketing Agency
5. Be Yourself And Authentic
Be yourself and authentic. People can always tell if you’re not yourself, which automatically sets off alarm bells and an element of mistrust. An open, honest conversation is better than any sales strategy, as you are simply sharing the information with your peers. There’s nothing worse than a forceful sales pitch — no one likes to be sold to. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR
6. Offer Referral Incentives
Referral incentives can be a great way to turn happy customers into advocates for your brand. A formal program is best for tracking your ROI, but you can also get started simply by offering a small gift or discount when a customer refers someone to you. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
7. Ensure Everyone Knows The Approach
Ensuring the approach is known by everyone is key. One of the most important parts of being successful here is sharing your ideas, as well as the strategy that was used in each circumstance with the other rep. That means taking the time to talk to them and making sure they are on the same page. Each sale will have a different model. – Jon James, Ignited Results
8. Build And Nurture Loyalty First
Approach this early by building loyalty and nurturing that loyalty at the right time, i.e. after an initial sign-up or when a contract is renewed. If any customer is providing you with repeat business, this is the perfect opportunity to offer them additional incentives to recommend your brand to their own network of connections. – Bernard May, National Positions
9. Humanize Your Marketing
Humanize your marketing. Focus on the relationship with the client. Connect through emotions with other humans, and use that in your messaging. You may be creating videos or sharing emotional stories. Do anything that you can to connect to people on a personal level. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
10. Balance Your Outreach
Balance your outreach. Don’t always expect an outcome. Sometimes, just providing an article with helpful information or making an introduction to another resource that could help the client will help you in the long run. This helps form the relationship, which is critical for P2P marketing. – Gina Michnowicz, The Craftsman Agency
11. Focus On Building Relationships
Building relationships is key. Any new business will come in either through a referral from an existing client or from a relationship. Do right by your clients and your peers, focus on honesty and getting the work done, and you’ll get the referrals and build the relationships you need. – Lion Shirdan, UPRISE Management