TC: BUILDING A REFERRAL FOUNDATION
It is important to understand who are your best prospects.
- The best source is the client who has already dealt with you.
- Second is the one referred to you by a client who has previously dealt with you.
- Third, one who is referred to you by a trusted professional or friend.
Cultivating referrals is one of the most important arsenals in a marketing tool kit. As most small business owners develop a marketing system, it most often is a “push” marketing plan. That involves pushing various marketing activities in front of potential and existing customers. The statistics are mind-blowing. A typical American is exposed to over 30,000 advertising messages daily; the percentage of people even responding to direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing, and so on, is often less than 1 percent.
Referral leads, or inbound leads, are not only more apt to result in a sale but are also much less expensive to obtain.
Referrals are built upon a foundation of trust and service. They don’t “just happen”. You have to develop a mindset that cultivating referrals is the best way to build your business. This mindset requires a switch from a sales mentality to one of relationship building and service. Growing a business by referral has relationship building at its core.
Nothing happens overnight. The following are several thoughts that have to be incorporated in your business in order to grow your referral business:
- Learn the art of listening.
- Exceed your customers’ expectations; that means that you must care about your customers. (an example I use is that of an air-conditioning repair man who goes up on the roof to repair the unit and at the same time takes a few extra minutes and cleans the rain gutters)
- Have integrity; do what you say you will do and never lower your standards.
- Never stop learning; know your product or service and keep abreast of new developments.
Developing a solid referral business is always a work in progress. At BizQuack, we will address this issue in the future by way of an educational session.
Your challenge for today is to come up with ways that you can exceed your customers’ expectations. Make a list, tape it to your desk and keep adding to it. A list without implementation is nothing. Start putting your new customer service ideas to work today.
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