How to Get More People Referring Your Business More Often

How to Get More People Referring Your Business More Often

THE BEST ADVERTISING IS “WORD OF MOUTH.”  This statement is universally accepted.

An enthusiastic endorsement builds a bridge of TRUST between you and a new, prospective client or customer.

The previous statement is nearly a tautology, a universally accepted self confirming truth.

An enthusiastic endorsement builds a bridge of TRUST between you and a new, prospective client or customer.

EVERYONE knows that the very best form of “raw advertising” is getting new business via a confident referral from an existing client.

What many small business owners overlook, however, is that it is marketing to existing clients that results in receiving those confident referrals.

Remember:

Everything is Marketing and Marketing is Everything.

Allow me to explain. When you provide a quality product or service to your clients you are indeed in the very act of marketing to them!

  • Marketing does not stop with an advertisement, it merely begins there.

All the advertisement does is provide you with the privilege to attempt to market to them.

Satisfied Customers Is Not Enough

Referrals for new business don’t usually come from satisfied customers, they come from ecstatic ones!

It is “over the top”, consistent, good business practice that fuels the ecstasy.

So, it is effectively marketing to existing clients that yields those wonderful results of enthusiastic endorsements.

  • Such referrals are new business to you that is already sold!

So, if you are already in business, your first step in marketing to reach new clients is to deliver over the top goods and services to your existing clients! - This is your first step if you really believe that “word of mouth” is the best advertising.

And the adverse is true as well, “word of mouth” can be the worst form of advertising when it comes from a trusted source and it is negative.

Ok, having completed the philosophical it is time for the practical steps you can follow.  Below are 4 STEPS 5 STEPS that you can follow.

Step 1: Deserve Referrals

Be nice.  Be friendly.  People like doing business with nice, friendly people and smiles sell.

Don't simply meet expectations, try to exceed them.  Take the Lord's advice and go the second mile.  Exceed their expectations.

You've probably received bonuses with some purchase.  That bonus was an attempt to exceed your expectations.  Note that there is a difference between a "BONUS" and a "BUNDLE".

For the bonus to be a real bonus, don't make it a part of your sale.  In other words, you don't reveal it until AFTER you have secured the sale.

Cultivate and Attitude of Gratitude

Send an email, card or make a phone call simply to say "Thanks for your business".  I think it is more powerful to do this on their "anniversary" of becoming one of your clients or customers.  Go ahead and send those holiday cards - but these are more for trying to maintain top of mind awareness with your customers. 

Step 2: Maintain Contact

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Step 3: Ask for Referrals

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Step 4: Reward Customers that Refer You

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Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-4 Continually

I suppose it is sort of like the instructions on your shampoo.

  • Lather
  • Rinse
  • Repeat

Just keep on doing your BEST to provide over the top service, keep in touch with your clients, ask them for referrals and reward them when they do.

SOMETHING FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE & MY OWN MIND

You've made it to the bottom of this section and now you get a little extra!

I'll give you a couple of examples from my own experience:

One Restaurant Example

The restaurant that I managed achieved top rating (out of over 300) by implementing two things:

  • I paid my good staff more than any other similar establishments would pay.  I instituted a cross-training program and paid my really great employees MORE than what I was "supposed to pay."  I paid them quite a bit more.  My labor costs went down.  How?  I'd have one great, happy staff that would do the work of 3 good ones or 6 poor ones.  I got a lot for an extra $2/hour back in 1986.   I think the minimum wage was about $4/hr then.  

    Instead of paying $12/hour for three employees, I paid $6/hour for 1.  That's good math.  And these employees actually liked people and their jobs.  They liked to work.

    I cut the hours back (way back) for sour pusses and unmotivated employees and they would quit.  So, I didn't have to try and find a reason to fire them.  This may sound mean, but it was simply good business.  My income was dependent upon the profitability of the store.

    Everyone had the same opportunity.

  • We implemented a Seven Contact Policy (I think).  This was not my idea, it was actually mandated from the top.  It was challenging to do, took real effort, and so most stores simply wouldn't do it, but we did.

    And it worked.  Our customers picked up on the hint that we actually were glad they were at our restaurant and began to believe that we liked them.  Not to say that the other locations didn't like their customers, but maybe it was not conveyed so clearly.

    I don't think that our food was that great.  These people came because they felt good coming there.  It was CUSTOMER SERVICE that made the difference.

    In fact, they liked being liked and appreciated so well that they came back more often and would bring friends and family with them.

    I learned many of their names, and when they came in with a guest, I would greet them, with something like, "Hi John, who is this you've brought with you?" shake hands with their guests and then look them in their God-given eyeballs and THANK THEM for bringing guests with them.  I'd then escort them to the order counter and tell my till operator that their non-alcoholic beverages would be on the house.

    They were getting over the top customer service.  We loved them and they loved us back with their wallets.
Two Shoe Store Examples

Over the Top Example

I was working downtown Seattle.  I had bought some expensive shoes from one of the downtown stores.  After a few months, there was a problem with these expensive shoes.  These shoes were sold at all of the top merchants and you could find them sometimes at a thrift store (used).  I know this personally.

I walked into the store with the shoes and a floor salesperson saw me and smiled at me and before I could say a word said, "Looks like you have a problem with those shoes, looks like a definite defect and we're so sorry about that.  Would you like a new pair to replace them or would you like a refund."

She didn't even ask if I bought them there.  She didn't ask for a receipt.  I got a new pair of shoes that day.  The store got me telling this story over and over and over again and I sent a LOT of people to that store ... and bought more stuff from them routinely myself.

Under the Bottom Example

My wife bought an expensive pair of nursing shoes (she is a medical assistant) from a local shoe store.  After just a couple of months, they started coming apart.  We went out to run some errands together and get a bite to eat at a restaurant nearby the shoe store.

After lunch, we went in to the shoe store and went to the counter, the owner met us at the counter.

He was not friendly.

He did not offer to replace the shoes.

He refused to give us a refund.

He did, however offer to repair the shoes, but we would have to pay for it.

Today, I don't remember what we did regarding her expensive shoes.

What I do know is we NEVER went there again and purchased shoes from any other place for more than 20 years.

We also have WARNED lots of people to NOT shop there.

MOST PEOPLE ARE LIKE MOST PEOPLE

There is a lot that I teach that I have picked up somewhere else.  However, I can honestly say that "most people are like most people" is actually my own.  

Since most people are like most people, you are more likely than not like most people, too.

People are very predictable, usually.

ALL people are not like MOST people, but MOST people are and if you are like most people, you can figure out that most people will react in the way that I did in the above examples.







Bigfoot.Marketing

Bigfoot Marketing is a small business owners marketing strategy that helps small business owners learn how to get the biggest marketing footprint possible with their limited marketing budgets.

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