Whether they come through a referral program or through other forms of sharing, word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful lead generation tool for any business. After all, people trust the recommendations of their colleagues and peers. Referred customers are more likely to remain loyal to your business, and have a higher customer lifetime value.

If you’re a B2B business, what can you do to drive these valuable customer referrals, and take advantage of word-of-mouth as a channel for lead generation?

We ran a survey to find out the reasons why business professionals have recently referred particular B2B businesses to others. 52 marketers responded with their b2b word-of-mouth referral stories! We’ll dive into these stories later in the article, but first, let’s break down what drives word-of-mouth marketing, so your business can take full advantage of this B2B marketing strategy.

B2B word of mouth and social currency

Several of the marketers we surveyed mentioned that they will only refer a B2B business to others if they deem that business to be of high quality, and think that the business will truly help the person they share it with. After all, as a referrer, they’re putting their own reputation, and the reputation of their business, on the line.

This alludes to the fact that it’s all about social currency: if someone has a positive experience with a business they are referred to, this boosts the referrer’s standing, but if someone has a bad experience with a business they are referred to, this reflects poorly on the referrer and can damage the reputation of the referrer’s company.

Roxana Colorado of Kandula International LLC explains, “When referring any business, it’s important to remember that the business you introduce to others can make or break your own business development goals. If something goes wrong with their interaction, you can be frowned upon for not making a good referral. If things go great, you will be the go-to person for referrals.”

So, if you want your B2B business to be referred to others, you’ll need to give professionals a solid reason to refer you – that truly stands out and gets people talking.

Powerful B2B word-of-mouth drivers

How can you position your business to be highly referrable? According to Word of Mouth Uncovered, four main driving factors contribute to word of mouth. Let’s briefly define them below.

Product: When the brand’s product or service fulfills a customer’s needs in a mind-blowing fashion. It often surprises the consumer by meeting those needs in a unique or intuitive way.

Story: When the brand’s story gives the business a personality that truly resonates with their customers. Often, it is a set of strong values and beliefs that help differentiate the business from competitors along with a narrative that inspires.

Customer Service: When the brand’s stellar customer service goes above and beyond a consumer’s expectations

Value: When the brand delivers an oversized return to the user compared with the cost of the product/service

For more details on these and other word of mouth drivers, be sure to check out our 8-step framework on how to get customer referrals! 

Which of these drivers promoted the most sharing among the marketers we surveyed? Product was the clear winner, at 46%. Value came in second at 29%; Customer Service came in third at 23%; and Story rounded out the list at 2%.

Of course, all these factors work together to drive word of mouth, and contribute to a healthy business overall, so your brand should strive to deliver on all of them to stand out and promote sharing!

(For this survey, marketers were asked to name only the primary factor that drove them to share, even if more than one factor motivated them.)

statistics about referral drivers

Which channel of recommendation is the most popular?

What channel did the marketers use to recommend the B2B business they shared? In-person was the most popular method of sharing, at 31%, and email narrowly took second place, with 27% of marketers using it to share. 21% used some form of direct message (such as texting, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp). 12% used wider social media sharing (on networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), and 10% shared via a phone call.

what creates b2b word of mouth referral stories?

B2B referral programs: Were they used?

Referral programs are an effective way to increase word-of-mouth marketing. However, although B2B referral programs are powerful, they’re usually less common than their B2C counterparts.

When we asked marketers whether the business they referred had a referral program, nearly half (48%) said they didn’t look. Another 23% did check for a referral program, but couldn’t find one.

About 19% of respondents, though, did find and use the referral program of the business they shared. (The other 10% did identify that the business they referred had a referral program, but didn’t use it.)

Referral programs work for the B2B businesses who choose to use them – starting a referral program will give your business a leg up from the competition. Learn everything you need to know about creating a B2B referral program, and check out compelling B2B referral program statistics if you need more convincing.

Does your business have a referral program graph

B2B word-of-mouth referral stories from business professionals

Now, let’s learn about what drove the marketers to share different types of B2B businesses. We’ve divided their stories by category of product.

SaaS and tech solutions

By far, this category of business was mentioned the most in our survey. What makes B2B tech and SaaS businesses worth referring? The majority of referrers in this category said the product itself was the primary factor, but value and customer service came into play strongly as well.

(If you’re a SaaS company, consider starting a SaaS referral program as a solid word-of-mouth driver!)


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Peter Song of Haki Review Mashup BigScoots Hosting platform Product

Peter’s Story: “I referred a hosting service platform, BigScoots, to a person who tried to start a blog. The main reasons were both the quality of their product and customer service. I have been using their hosting service since a blogging expert referred the firm to me about a year ago. Since I started using their service, my website has gained a faster site speed compared to what it had with the previous hosting company. Plus, their customer service is amazing – they always resolved my issues within 24 hours. If someone else asked me for a hosting firm, I will definitely recommend them again.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Cauveé Asana  Productivity solution Value

Cauveé’s Story: “Asana all day!  I absolutely LOVE them to life.  I reached out to them long before they offered an affiliate service and was upset they didn’t have one because of how many people I had referred. I’ve referred them so much because of how much it truly helped me and my business. I’ve been with them and I have seen how many changes and updates they’ve made, and it’s definitely a 12/10 service for me so it was the love for it that inspired my loyalty.”

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Andrea Loubier of Mailbird Asana Productivity solution  Product

Andrea’s Story: “As a leading email client for Windows, I like to refer other software that can integrate with our product. The one I refer the most is Asana, which is an organizational app for teams. I can’t imagine getting through a day without effortlessly assigning tasks and seeing everyone’s workload at a glance.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
 James Canzanella of Captican LLC ClickFunnels All-in-one sales/marketing tool Value

James’ Story: “A product that I’ve been referring others to for almost 3 years now is called ClickFunnels. The reason why I like it so much is because of how much it initially helped me build and grow my online business. At first, I was looking for one simple solution, which was a way to accept credit card payment for selling my online courses. Not only did I get that, but I also got the ability to quicken the time of how long it takes to get my sales funnel from idea, to live and out in the marketplace.

Heck, ever transferring over to the software saved me a bunch of money because I could cancel many other tools as well. Because of all the great things that ClickFunnels has provided for me (value, features, price, etc), it’s been a very easy decision to recommend this tool to other online business owners as well.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Quincy Smith of ESL Authority Heap.io Product analytics Customer Service

Quincy’s Story: “I recently referred the analytics tool we use, Heap, to a friend solely based on their customer service.  Yes, their product is incredible and super intuitive, but the willingness of their customer success team to go above and beyond when it came to both setup and reporting was even more incredible. We’ve filed so many tickets with them and always get a response back within 1 business day detailing the answer to our questions – in addition, our account manager regularly follows up and clearly has been reading out ticket history because he will ask how certain things are working.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Keverne Denahan of KardZee Liondesk   CRM Customer Service 

Keverne’s Story: “Liondesk CRM. I just referred them today, in fact, and I like that they offer a referral code – it’s an incentive to remember to do it. I also like the fact that it’s affordable and for right now, it does what we need it to do. There are several features we haven’t taken advantage of that you can add on as you need them – which we also like. You aren’t buying things you don’t need until you need them. In addition, you can upload a large number of contacts before you have to start paying for them. Their use of filters and tags are another feature that we use all of the time. When you have a problem, they answer immediately. Great support and they also have a FB Group that you can take advantage of.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Oksana Chyketa of Albacross Ahrefs SEO tool  Product

Oksana’s Story: “Tons of recommendations happen just because one person likes a product/service and spreads a word about it – it’s human nature to talk about things we like (and don’t like). We at Albacross use different tools and we try to refer them as much as we can. For example, I’ve been contributing to some expert roundups and when I was asked about guest blogging best practices I couldn’t help but mention Ahrefs. Soon after the post was published, Sergey Aliokhin from Ahrefs reached out to me with a ‘quick thanks’ for mentioning their tool. Even though I wasn’t expecting any kind of praise, I was flattered by receiving such an email.”

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Dale Johnson of Startup Trove Ahrefs SEO tool Product

Dale’s Story: “Ahrefs gives you insightful tools that help you search for keywords, get competitor insights, and see how your website is ranking on Google. As a business, for many years, Moz was the go-to tool. Many businesses that operate in similar circles online swear by Moz, but recently Ahrefs has gathered steam. I was recommended it through a contact of a private entrepreneur network and decided to try it. When you’re operating an online business, understanding Google and its algorithm changes are vital for ranking higher. Not only is it incredibly responsive to Google updates, but the extra features and data you can pull and organize from it also allow you to operate with far more intent and conviction than ever before. I was quick to recommend Ahrefs to a contact of mine who works in the travel space, which is even more competitive online. Ahrefs is an excellent example of a service that has understood the difficulties of businesses online, and developed a series of tools that address those pain points, while also keeping a close eye on major Google updates.”

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Patrick Algrim of Algrim.co Ahrefs SEO tool Product

Patrick’s Story: “I referred many friends to start using ahrefs.com, a product that helps them understand where their inbound customers are coming from as it pertains to search engine traffic. I referred them to the product because it gave me insights I wasn’t able to see in other products. There are too many ‘me too’ products on the market. And it can be difficult to discover products that are unique. When you do find one, it makes you want to refer your friends.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Saurabh Jindal of Talk Travel SerpStat SEO tool Value

 Saurabh’s Story: “I recently referred SerpStat to a couple of my fellow startup entrepreneurs. It is a digital marketing and SEO tool. Most of the existing tools are very expensive for small businesses, but SerpStat, with its low cost and a good set of features, delivers a very good end value. Moreover, the customer support is very good, and they have a good set of instructional videos and training materials for us to learn and grasp the tool and use it better. Overall, I was a happy and satisfied customer, and hence referred it to others for whom I thought this would make good value.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type  Word of Mouth Driver
 Calloway Cook of Illuminate Labs Gusto Payroll service Product

Calloway’s Story: “I referred a business called Gusto, which is a payroll processing company for small businesses which I use. I referred them because the costs are very reasonable, the software is fantastic and the customer service is great. I’ve had no problems with them at all, so I referred them to another small business owner.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Brooks Flanagan of SCS Cloud Avalara Tax service solution Product

Brooks’ Story: “As a NetSuite partner, clients come to us with unique situations that often need custom solutions. We had experience with Avalara in the past and knew that it would be a great fit for the specific tax situations our client dealt with and dovetail nicely with the service we were providing.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
 Aditya Sharma of Hiration Intercom Live chat software  Product

Aditya’s Story: “We tried a few customer messaging platforms but were looking for something more. We finally settled on Intercom and never get tired of referring it to anyone and everyone we can find. From designing product tours to linking articles/FAQs within the chatbox, Intercom has it all. Its ability to monitor customer data, conversation history, product usage, etc. goes a long way in delivering stellar customer experience.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Dr. Ziad Jalbout of Making You Smile Cosmetic Dental Studio Brighter Patient matching service for healthcare providers Product

Dr. Jalbout’s Story: “Over the years, we’ve worked with a variety of vendors and companies to improve our market positioning and help with lead generation. One of those vendors is Brighter.com, which specializes in pairing pre-screened patients with healthcare providers who are in-network for the service/treatment they are seeking. I just love Brighter and I’ve been referring other healthcare professionals to it as well.

What Brighter does really effectively is its integration into so many elements of our practice management software. Brighter is able to match patients seeking treatment from their pool of insurance subscribers (Cigna and Aetna insurance are their largest companies) and pair them with practices like ours. You have to be in-network to participate in the program, which we are, so it’s really convenient for our office.

The patients also have real-time access to our calendar and can book appointments direct, which syncs with our practice management software and voila, new appointments get booked and we didn’t have to ‘do anything’ to secure them. Essentially, Brighter is a high-end matchmaker that is very targeted and the technology under their hood is amazing. For so many moving parts and integrations with other platforms, I’m really surprised there aren’t more bugs (or bugs at all) with their technology.

Because of my satisfaction, I’ve referred many to the platform. I usually just text or share the information while speaking with a peer and let them go from there. But from my internal case studies on auditing ROI, Brighter is an all-star! Their sales-pitch matches reality perfectly, which left me feeling quite satisfied because we’re always cautious of sales pitches that are too good to be true – for once, it actually happened!”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Angela Ash of Flow SEO Mailbird Email client Product

Angela’s Story: “I referred Mailbird as a desktop email client, because they offer features that Outlook does not, and they integrate with other apps like Slack, Asana and Dropbox. Additionally, any time you can refer a customer or client to another successful company, then you can continue to build a bigger network AND set yourself up as an expert all at one time. It’s a win-win!”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Daniel Ramsey of MyOutDesk  RingCentral  VOIP Product

Daniel’s Story: “In a virtual staffing world, a reliable VOIP is paramount to ensure fast, clear, and efficient day-to-day operations. A clear line of communication dictates regardless of whether or not the daily deliverables and goals will be met. We are big in video conferencing from sourcing, hiring, placing talents with clients, and other aspects of our business. This integral piece of our workflow was made easy by RingCentral. It has great features; voice and video calls and conferencing, SMS, and fax to name a few. It also has a built-in recording capability that allows us to review and document our conversations and training sessions. From product features to customer service, we’re very pleased working with RingCentral – highly recommended.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Allison Hott of TrustPulse Canva Design platform Product

Allison’s Story: “As an SaaS business, our company knows how important it is to provide customers with a product/service that’s easy to use and provides an enjoyable customer experience. That’s why when I find a product/service that’s incredibly easy to use and offers value to our customers, we recommend it to them. One of the last products I recommended was Canva. Canva is a free online visual content creation tool. Since many of our customers are small business owners, they don’t have the budget to hire graphic designers. So, with Canva, they can easily create visual content for social media, their blog or website, and so on without needing any design skills.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Alistair Dodds of Ever Increasing Circles AdEspresso Ad management  Product

Alistair’s Story: “AdEspresso’s Facebook and Google Ads management tools are second to none. The tool makes managing and optimizing multiple campaigns super efficient and easy. In addition, they have an excellent customer support team and fast response Facebook group admins should you have any questions. Finally, the resources they provide, including monthly split-test experiments, make them an essential part of our marketing mix. And it’s why I was happy to recommend them to an old business contact earlier this month.”

Vacation Tracker

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Nikola Djurkovic of PolicyAdvice Vacation Tracker Slack add-on  Product 

Nikola’s Story: “My company has recently doubled in size, and we’ve started having trouble keeping track of everyone’s days off. Since it was essential to be aware of who was going to be absent and at what time, we started maintaining notes using an Excel sheet. We didn’t want to commit to an expensive, bulky HR tool with more options than we need. So, we discovered Vacation Tracker, an add-on tool integrated with Slack. It’s so simple to use, affordable, and does exactly what we need – keeps track of different kinds of days off our employees take. I find it incredibly useful, and I happily recommend it to my colleagues, who are expanding their scope of HR work.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Marielle Chartier Hénault of AquaMermaid TimeDoctor Time tracker Value

Marielle’s Story: “I referred a business connection to TimeDoctor.com. It’s a time tracking app that I use to help manage my remote employee’s time. I really like it because it automatically tracks their time as soon as they press start and I can see the report at any time. No need to manually input time into a spreadsheet. I also like that it has a function to take screenshots of their screen so I can check to see that they were doing the task they said they were and to keep them accountable. I referred TimeDoctor because I find the product invaluable to my own business. I have peace of mind with knowing what my remote employees are doing when they’re working.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Abir Syed of UpCounting  Clockify.me Time tracker Product

Abir’s Story: “I started consulting a few months ago, with my first client being my old employer. I was on retainer so while I knew roughly how much time I spent on them, I didn’t need to track time too strictly. I got another client that was hourly and so I started searching for time-tracking software and came across clockify.me. I had looked into time tracking software in the past but had always found them clunky to the point of deterring me from bothering. This app was so perfect though that I could with 1 click switch to “misc time” while answering a few messages from friends, and with 1 click go back to what I was working on. It was so convenient that I started tracking all my time in detail, and suffice it to say I realized just how much time certain activities were taking, which made me far more efficient. Oh, plus it’s free. The point is that I was so thrilled with my experience I started recommending it to my friends too. That part is normal – you recommend something to friends because you want them to enjoy the benefits you did.”


Reasons for referring marketing companies and other agencies (our second-largest category) spanned all four of the primary word-of-mouth drivers. Let’s dive into the referral stories in this category.


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Janus Basnov of Aristo Sourcing Convertica  Conversion rate optimization agency Value

Janus’ Story: “We’ve used Convertica several times in the past 3 months to help us do conversion rate optimization on our website portfolio, and the expertise they have is just unrivalled. They look at your site, take it apart, and put it back together professionally, and based on hard tested science – its incredible. They understood our business, and our market, and dramatically changed our conversion rates within a week.”

Jasmine and Co.

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Denise Lee of Victor Novis Jasmine and Co. Virtual assistant Value

Denise’s Story: “I referred a client to Jasmine and Co because my client needed to modify video content. The video was going to be placed on various social media channels. I knew Jasmine (the owner) would take the time and make sure the dimensions were appropriate for each content. Moreover, Jasmine always provides superior customer service. She wants her clients to not just like her work, but be absolutely in love with it.”

Business and Leadership Coach

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Rahul Vij of WebSpero Solutions Not given Business coach Value

Rahul’s Story: “I referred a Business/Leadership Coach to a friend who runs a tech business. It was a conversation with my friend who was telling me the problem he is facing in scaling up the team. I could resonate with the problems: I had faced similar issues a year back. I have been working with a coach for a year and I really felt he could be a help, so I gave him the reference of the coach, connected both of them and now my friend has signed a 6 months contract with the coach. I referred him because I felt strongly from my experience that the coach will help him in solving his business hurdle.”

Local Visibility System

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Joe Palumbo of Ice Dam Guys, LLC Local Visibility System   Copyright protection  Customer Service

Joe’s Story: “As I began to grow my business, we expanded nationally, and other industrious individuals started wanting in on a piece of the pie. I’m a reasonable guy and took the copycats as a sign of flattery and kept marching ahead. I figured, since I was established and growing, that no one would be able to catch me. While that’s still true, people came at me and some of their tactics were just outright frustrating and at times, immoral and bordering on illegal. Specifically, I was seeing websites and companies copying my legal trademarks for the business, poaching unique content and images from my site, and employing harmful online tactics to diminish the authority of my site and hard work. Without any real idea of how to combat this, I started asking around and searching online and came across a guy by the name of Phil Rozek.

Phil is a digital analyst of sorts. A mixture of online marketing guru and digital sleuth. Well, I hired Phil to perform one of his signature ‘Mastermind Sessions’ and I presented my predicament to him and asked him what he’d do? Phil gave me a timeline of the report and when he provided it to me, I was blown away. Not only did Phil give me a 30,000-foot analysis of my business, but he went into great detail about these competitor tactics and bad actors. Not only did he identify them, but he provided me with a step by step plan on how to combat it with DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Notices, Trademark infringement, and how to get false and libelous content offline. It was amazing! Things that had been thorns in my side for a year or more nearly evaporated over the next couple of months and I was sold!

Since then, I’ve referred countless people to Phil and every single one of them has thanked me immensely. While the circumstances that bring each business owner to Phil are different, the outcome and Phil’s insight, tact, and ease of navigating the internet were clearly invaluable to all of us. I’d say the biggest selling points for Phil are his customer service and the ‘product’ of his Mastermind Sessions. Many clients go to Phil expecting him to deliver one thing and they learn very quickly that he sees things we can’t and provides plenty of surprises that go well above the basics of his offering.”


Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
David Silverman of Solution Loans Chrave  SEO services Story 

David’s Story: “I don’t tend to refer companies to other people, in case they have a bad experience and it comes back to haunt me. However, I liked Chris (owner of Chrave Technology) so much that I decided I would mention his business to someone I met at a business networking event. His passion for SEO is what really stood out and I think it was this more than anything that convinced me he would be a good fit for others and not make me look bad.”

Atlas Holdings

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Ian Peterman of Peterman Design Firm Atlas Holdings Intl. Marketing/Sales Agency Product

Ian’s Story: “I’ve been referring out a contact I’ve made in the funding and capital raising space to a few select clients. I connected with Mr. Maple of Atlas Holdings for helping with a few of his clients and after learning about his background, what his firm offered, and their success with previous clients, I knew I needed to refer a few select clients who were the right fit. I referred because Mr. Maple took the time to explain who he worked with, expectations, and his requirements. This allowed me to find a few clients who really fit his need and I love connecting people to good resources who are the right fit. Providing this resource has the added benefit of helping a client be able to grow, which is why they work with me in the first place.”

Web services

What makes B2B web services (such as online courses and markets) worth referring? It’s time to examine the referral stories in this category.

Empire Flippers

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Mads Singers of Mads Singers Management Coaching Empire Flippers Website to buy and sell online businesses  Value

Mads’ Story: “I have referred two clients the last couple of months to a business marketplace called empireflippers.com, as they were both trying to sell their business. I’ve had a lot of great dealings with EmpireFlippers over the years and I know they take good care of the clients, so they don’t end up with a bad experience which would reflect back on me poorly.”

Authority Hackers

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Marsha Kelly of Best 4 Businesses Authority Hackers Online Course Value

Marsha’s Story: “Recently I referred a digital entrepreneur to the Authority Hackers internet marketing course. I did so because there are MANY internet marketing scams and overpriced courses where people pay a lot and get only a little. My goal was to prevent this man from being ripped off and given incorrect (often outdated) information. In contrast, this course is the real deal written by expert marketers who are in the trenches every day making money online. Their team also produces an insightful podcast weekly where they freely share their advice and tactics.”

Lyrical Courses

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Wendy Tomlinson of Wendy Tomlinson Coaching Lyrical Courses Online Course Customer Service

Wendy’s Story: “I referred to an SEO course provided by Lyrical Host. As a full-time blogger, I have struggled to really understand SEO and how to apply it effectively. In the past, I have simply felt overwhelmed and confused by SEO information. The SEO Navigation course is easy to follow, using step by step lessons that are easy to apply and understand. When I have been unsure about something the support has been incredible. I feel like they genuinely want me to succeed and they’re always quick to support me in any way I can. My biggest reason for the referral is the genuine support and the easy structure of the course.”

B2B/B2C combined market

This category includes some hybrid B2B/B2C businesses that were used by these referrers in a B2B fashion. What made them worth referring? Find out the answers below.

Husky Maintenance

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
 Stanford Mead of Summit Home Buyers, LLC Husky Maintenance   Home repair Customer Service

Stanford’s Story: “Our company buys, renovates, and sells homes in Utah. We are always on the lookout for a good handyman. We recently needed an emergency repair on a home, and we were referred to Husky Maintenance. The folks at Husky Maintenance were attentive and professional. They addressed our needs, completed the necessary repairs quickly, and we sold the house! We have since referred Husky Maintenance to several business partners.”

Devotion Tire

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Tim Hordo of Moovler Devotion Tire Tire Service Customer Service

Tim’s Story: “The business (well, one of many) that I’ve referred recently is Devotion Tire. They’re a mobile tire changing service, which is quite important, and an underserved market in Canada, as we have to change out our tires for the fall and spring in order to deal with winter. Devotion Tire charged me less to come to my house, around my schedule, than a tire shop would have. They provided quality service, and even offered to have one of the drivers that he sponsors at the racetrack take me in the car during a practice run…unbelievable value, service and total care of customers!”

Maple Leaf Strings

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Cara Simpson of City Strings and Piano Maple Leaf Strings Wholesale musical instruments Customer Service

Cara’s Story: “We run a national in-home music school that operates in over a dozen metropolitan cities and since our launch, we’ve been purchasing our imported stringed-instruments (violin, viola, cello, and bass) from Maple Leaf Strings out of Ohio. While the focus of our business model is to teach students their favorite instruments in the comfort of their home, we also have to be aware that not all our students will be experienced musicians. Due to some of them being novice or completely new to playing an instrument, we do like to offer a selection of instruments for sale and rent.

After a few years of being in business, we’ve heard nothing but great things from our customers about their wholesale instruments, which pleases us greatly! Aside from our customer satisfaction with their product, we appreciate them as a vendor. Their Product Reps are sharp as tacks and treat each of our employees with respect, they address every order’s packing and shipping with incredible care, and they have very flexible ordering (drop-shipping, no minimum order values, etc). What we love the most is that since they’re a small business and we’re a small business, they understand the challenges of being in business for yourself and made every effort possible to eliminate those for their customers…us.

Since sales are a smaller portion of our revenue and we’re champions of everyone learning to play and love music, it seemed silly of us not to recommend Maple Leaf Strings to similar companies we encounter. I want to see Maple Leaf Strings continue to flourish the same way they want us to, so I’m happy to refer peers to their company. What’s nice about referring other businesses to them is that I know, no matter how small or large that referral is, they’ll get their orders with the same distinguished customer service and impeccable shipping that we do.”

Website Design

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Patrick Coombe from Elite Strategies (https://elite-strategies.com/) Not given Website Design Value

Patrick’s Story: “This is a great question, referrals are very important for b2b. In our business, we deal with a lot of referrals. We refer a lot of business to other companies (printing for example) and the businesses are always very grateful for these. To answer the question, the best thing you can do to drive referrals is to do a good job and have great communication. We deal with one company in the Mid-West, a branding company that refers us to a lot of website design. They love us because we always pick up the phone, always respond to emails, and always deliver work on time. It doesn’t matter that our prices are not the cheapest when this company needs work done they know that they can count on us.”

Game Show Battle Rooms

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Paul Bromen of Helpful Habitat Game Show Battle Rooms Entertainment  Product

Paul’s Story: “The last business I referred many people to was Game Show Battle Rooms. It is an entertainment company that puts on a live game show like Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune and Price is Right for your company or event. I referred it to everyone I talked to because it was a truly unique experience that I was excited about having and wanted to share. What was key was that I felt cool telling people about the business. For several weeks, it was my answer to the frequent question: “What’s new with you?” I give referrals two ways. One way is when someone is stating problem and I know a specific business that could help. The other way is unsolicited, something so cool or great that I can’t help share with my entire network. This was later, and while the first kind has high conversion, the second ultimately drives more business as the people I refer mention the business to their network second hand.”

Other categories

From business law, to accounting and finance, to transportation and more, every business can benefit from referrals. Let’s take a look at our final three B2B referral stories.

Business Law: Romy Jurado

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Roxana Colorado of Kandula International, LLC Romy Jurado Business lawyer Value

Roxana’s Story: “In the past three months, I have referred my business lawyer. Romy Jurado is absolutely amazing at valuing your time and needs throughout the legal side of your business development process. She is an expert in international business and makes the legal process less intimidating. She gets straight to the facts which makes things cost-effective. I love referring her to clients because she always makes me look good. As a business strategist, I’m the liaison to my clients working through their pain points to scale their businesses. It’s great to have a lawyer that can facilitate the process without creating any delays. Clients feel taken care of and not taken advantage of. Especially because lawyers charge on an hourly basis, they appreciate getting immediate results.

Here are the three key things I look for before considering making a business referral to fellow small business owners: Firstly, work ethics – most referrals are people I have worked with and gained direct insight into how they go about managing their work and relationships. Secondly,  value – ensuring they will go above and beyond for their clients. Making sure referrals feel they got more than their money’s worth. Thirdly, expertise in their field – I have a whole database of web designers/developers because I need to be able to match my clients with the best resources that understand the audience, language, etc of their specific field.”

Transportation Logistics

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Joseph Flanagan of Tacuna Systems Not given Transportation logistics Value

Joseph’s Story: “I referred a logistics company after they helped solve delivery issues for my company. We were used to personally handling deliveries for small orders and so when we received a very large bulk order, we couldn’t handle the delivery ourselves. We decided to use this company, and not only were they highly efficient, but they were fast and affordable.”

Accounting: The Dolins Group

Referrer Link to Business Referred Referred Business Type Word of Mouth Driver
Jonathan Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyer LLC The Dolins Group Accounting Customer Service

Jonathan’s Story: Having a readily accessible accountant is key for making business decisions and running my law firm. I rely on the advice from The Dolins Group Ltd., for decisions made with respect to expenditures and ongoing operations. While paying taxes certainly is not considered a ‘fun’ activity, The Dolins Group takes the time to understand my business and help me make informed decisions that allows my business to grow. If you are a small business owner, I would strongly suggest locating an accounting firm that is small enough to be responsive and large enough to address any issues that you may encounter. In this respect, The Dolins Group does it all and I’ve been elated with their work.

This satisfaction has prompted me to refer my peers and clients to them because I know they will always lead with their best foot forward. Some clients might need a proper CPA after we’ve won them a large claim from a personal injury case and they need help managing the funds. Other referrals have also included non-competing law firms I’m familiar with, complimentary professionals we use for our work, and even employees. Since both companies are busy, I usually perform an email introduction and let the referral and my accountant go from there. They don’t have a referral program in place, but I don’t mind, as I see referrals with peers as a two-way street. If I do them a solid and recommend a sound professional, I know they will likely have such a great experience from it that it’ll just strengthen our relationship. It’s my opinion relationships are incredibly important for entrepreneurs, so that’s worthwhile enough for me.


How to drive referrals and generate word of mouth for your B2B business? Take advantage of the word-of-mouth drivers – product, value, customer service, and story. Deliver a unique or mind-blowing product or service; provide a massive return on investment vs. your product costs;  deliver stellar customer service that goes above and beyond, and communicate your mission and values in an inspiring way. Then, you’ll have a brand well worth referring, like the brands the marketers above talked about sharing.

Once you’ve put these ingredients into play, to kick-start your word of mouth, why not start a B2B referral program?