Peer-​to-​Peer Selling: What it is and Why it Matters

BY Rachel Cagle
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When was the last time you bought anything new without reading at least a few customer reviews first? Chances are you can’t even remember an example in recent history. Your potential clients are the same way. The bottom line is, it’s your job to sell your company’s products and services. So, of course you’re going to focus on the good they can provide customers. And the product descriptions on your company’s website are going to be doing the same. “That’s why word-​of-​mouth and recommendations from prospects’ networks are so valuable,” says Jay Fuchs, writing for HubSpot. “That process – capitalizing on consumer trust – is the basis of something known as peer-​to-​peer selling.”

What is Peer-​to-​Peer Selling?

According to Fuchs, “Peer-​to-​peer selling is the practice of leveraging brand advocates as an engine for sales. It rests on the idea that satisfied customers are willing to share their positive experiences with your business with their peers – projecting the voice of the customer and enabling sales through word-​of-​mouth.” It’s a simple and super effective selling method. Reps don’t have to be the ones promoting their products and the sales pitch comes off as unbiased and trustworthy.

The more customers you can get to personally and enthusiastically vouch for your product, the more prospects you can reach with legitimate clout behind your messaging,” says Fuchs. So, let’s talk about how you can begin the process of peer-​to-​peer selling.

How to do it

Take a proactive approach to online reviews

Let’s face it, as much as we wish our satisfied customers sang our praises whenever we helped them accomplish their goals, they won’t always do so. You may have to help them along in terms of leaving online reviews as part of your peer-​to-​peer selling practices. When you see that your client is doing great things with your product or you just completed a positive customer service interaction with a client, ask them to leave a review about their experience. That way, even if they don’t talk about your incredible products and service to their network directly, they can still influence the decisions of potential customers who are on the fence.

You also need to interact with those online reviews, especially the negative ones. How you interact with clients and handle problematic situations is going to be a deciding factor when a potential client is deciding whether or not to buy from you. The only way to show that to someone who doesn’t know you or your clients is to actively respond to online reviews. Fuchs says that “addressing your online reviews with patience, enthusiasm and empathy” is a straightforward way to practice peer-​to-​peer selling.

Be active on social media

Peer-​to-​peer selling is all about authentic and personal recommendations. The clients you get to vouch for you to their network can only do so much for you. So, you also need to make an effort to be “approachable, engaging and authentic.” Fuchs recommends accomplishing this by being active on social media. “Consistently posting high-​quality content relevant to your space… can help you establish yourself as an authority in your space and connect with potential customers.” And don’t forget to like, comment, and share your followers’ posts and comments on your activity.