It’s one of your most powerful marketing tools and it lives right under your very nose. What is it?
At a Jay Abraham seminar I attended, the audience was asked a question to determine which was their most powerful marketing strategy. Surprisingly, Referral Marketing was the number one strategy to get new business.
The surprising part that made most people feel uncomfortable, was when he asked how many people have a formal, documented strategy for getting referrals. That’s when most of the hands in the room went down. Then when he asked about multiple strategies, even more dropped out.
It amazes me to see how few people have no idea how to increase the amount of referrals they get. The typical answer is “but we do a really good job” and hope people will talk about it or mention them if they speak to someone…
This is not a referral strategy.
Why are Referrals so Powerful?
In any sales situation, you always need to make two sales. First you need to sell yourself by building trust and rapport. Then you can sell our products and services.
The brilliant thing about referrals is that the first sale is made by someone else.
There’s two advantages to that:
- A trusted third party talking about you holds a tremendous amount of credibility;
- It’s great leverage of your time!
So how do you get a Referral Machine working for You?
I run a client night for clients and their partners. On one occasion, I gave a short presentation on why people self-sabotage themselves and their business and what to look out for.
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Over the next week I started to get more referrals from my clients than usual. On looking into it further, I discovered that the partners of my clients didn’t know exactly what I did. This short presentation got them thinking of their friends and some of the symptoms I spoke about.
And “Hey presto!”…more referrals.
So, what are the steps to get this working in your business?
- Make sure your products and services are being delivered with consistency. You need to give people at least what they expect.
- Add some low cost, high perceived value touches to our delivery process i.e. a phone call after each delivery. This makes the difference between satisfying your clients and delighting them.
- Ask your clients what they would like to see added to your range of products. Don’t be afraid of what your clients have to say. They know what they want, and if you ask they will tell you.
- Give it to them…(sounds obvious, but seldom done…)
- Keep innovating. Chocolates on the pillow in your hotel room used to be a surprise, now it’s expected. You always need to be thinking of new ways to WOW your customers. That way, you won’t even have to worry about the competition.
- Looks for ways to get them talking about you. Paddi Lund is a dentist in Brisbane. In his reception area, he has a cappuccino machine, not just your ordinary home job, but a full blown brass machine, with the pull down handles and all the gizmo’s. When asked why he chose such an elaborate machine, Paddi responded, “In my back room, I have a $200,000 x-ray machine. In reception I have a $10,000 coffee machine. Nobody talks about my x-ray machine, but everyone talks about my coffee machine.”
Follow these simple steps, and watch the quality and quantity of clients soar through the roof.
Cover image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/23045224@N04/2645051915/