Referrals and name dropping: Questions and answers

I’ll get back to my story about China rip-off soon. For now I’m doing a blogging favorite of mine: I just read two post by two of my favorite bloggers that talked about the same issue, and they need to be connected…

Chris Rand (who is about my favorite B2B blogger these days, with several past posts inspired by him) asks:

How hard do you find it to tell the world who’s using your product?

Do you find getting permission to quote a customer by name to be a problem? Do you care? Is the grief so much that it makes sense to cut your losses, in your opinion, and just say: “Our Blue Widgets are being used by one of Europe’s leading tractor manufacturers?”

Then way-back-when B2B blogger Rick Short (still one of the very few B2B in-the-trenches marketing managers who blog like me, although he has a staff) answers the question in his post:

Hey buddy. Wanna’ buy a Referral?

Bottom line, true referrers, people that really CARE about your product, don’t want, or need, to be bought. When bought, referrals are neither heartfelt nor meaningful.

More specifically, Rick provides this list

When you are seeking B2B Marcom referrals, testimonials, and references for your products and/or services:

  • Aim for much less quantity and much higher (meaningful, useable, specific) quality.
  • Seek individuals who you’ve really moved.
  • Seek people to whom you truly matter.
  • Seek people who are ALREADY talking about you.
  • Seek referrals with huge amounts of traction.
  • Seek sales leads that will be pitched to by a passionate 3rd party (the person recommending you).

It’s a tall order, and a Rick doesn’t make it look easy, but helps us focus on what we should be doing to be successful. And I love this tibit: “BONUS: You’ll also learn the TRUTH about yourself.”