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July 2015

The POWER of Recommendations & Social Proof

The POWER of Recommendations & Social Proof 900 600 Kari Switala

One month ago I posted a recommendation for a fellow BNI member (and member of my A-Team) on LinkedIn. Within minutes, literally, I received a LinkedIn message from one of my connections inquiring about my fellow BNI member to see if she’d be a good fit for a project he had. Of course, I said, “YES” and went on to share why I loved working with her. I am happy to report she got the job and it was probably one of the easiest sales she ever had. This story clearly demonstrates the POWER of recommendations.

Recommendations are a type of social proof

You’ve probably heard the term ‘social proof’ but what does it mean? According to TechCrunch and Referral Candy there are 5 different sources of social proof:

1. Experts – Approval from credible experts in relevant fields
2. Celebrities – Approval or endorsements from celebrities (paid or unpaid)
3. Users – Approval from current/past users (google reviews and other ratings)
4. ‘Wisdom of crowds’ – Approval from large groups of other people (this one is one of my favorites to watch and read about)
5. Peers – Approval from friends and people you know (LinkedIn recommendations, testimonials)

The power of ‘Social Proof’

In a 2013 study by Bright Local they found 73% of consumers said positive customer reviews make them trust a business more. Think about it…when a trusted member of your BNI chapter stands up and gives a testimonial to another member (who you have not done business with yet) it has an impact on you. Inherently, you are more inclined to do business with that member.

Using recommendations to generate more referrals and deepen relationships

Now that you see the power of recommendations how you can you harness this energy to generate more referrals and deepen relationships? The answer is simple…start by posting recommendations for your members whose services/products you have used on BNI Connect, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or the social media channel of your choice. As you begin to do this you’ll notice two things:

  • You will deepen and strengthen the relationship you have with your fellow BNI members
  • You will receive recommendations from your chapter members
  • You will receive more referrals (based on the recommendations you receive)

Sounds like a win-win situation right? Remember the BNI Philosophy…Givers Gain!

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