Why references, reviews, and referrals matter
Today you will get a request from a member of your sales team for a ‘reference’. An individual who is using your product today, likes it, and is willing to say nice things about it to other people who have not yet bought.
Why are references, reviews, and referrals so important?
If you shop on Amazon chances are that you look at the reviews from other buyers. This functions as a reference for you. It gives you comfort that you’re making a good decision to purchase, based on other people’s feedback. That comfort helps you to take the risk of spending your money.
The benefit to buyers of references is it reduces their perception of risk. The better the reference, the lower the perceived risk. Without a reference the purchase might still happen, but the buyer will have to work through the pros and cons of making the decision. There will be more questions. They will test you more thoroughly. It will just take more time.
The benefit to you is that it shortens a buyer’s buying decision. Translation: a shorter sales cycle.
Sometimes it makes good business sense to wait until you have a few references before launching a product. An aggressive revenue target can be helped greatly by having references in place before investing too heavily in promotional activities. In some market segments the only way you can be successful is to have references.
There is no point in executing aggressive product launch activities if a key missing component to success is a set of good references.
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