Your Current Clients Are the Key to Your Future Success

Referrals - Money in the bank

Referrals Are the Secret to a Better Bottom Line

Businesses large and small are constantly looking for ways to increase their bottom line. Large sums of money are often spent on advertising, promotions, marketing materials and/or hiring an ace sales team. And yet a simple key marketing component is not part of their marketing mix.

As a marketing professional and a referral marketing expert, it surprises me every time that a company with a team of intelligent, well-educated professionals and savvy sales people fail to include referral marketing in their marketing strategy. Bar none, it is one of the most effective ways to grow your business and increase your bottom line while spending less.

Most companies fall into the trap of ‘hoping’ for referrals or thinking that just because a client is happy they will refer you. They know the value of ‘word of mouth’ advertising but what they don’t understand is that they can influence and control the outcome.

Statistics clearly show that people are more inclined to talk about a business when they are unhappy with the product or service. It’s not that happy clients don’t talk. It’s just that they don’t talk as often or to as many people as those clients who are unhappy.

So how do you do get them talking about you? You develop and implement a referral marketing system that makes it easy for them to refer you. You make them partners in your success.

Let’s take a look at an example of what is NOT referral marketing. I love to learn and a few years ago I attended a ‘marketing bootcamp’. The presenter knew his stuff and did a good job engaging the audience. The “seminar” finished and I went up to thank the speaker and to talk about his ‘FREE’ offer.

I had never met this gentleman before that day; was not familiar with his products and services and had spent only a couple of hours in his seminar. He took my information then proceeded to ask me for THREE names of people who would be interested in the offer. He said that his business was built on referrals. I told him that I would have to think about it and then I high-tailed it out of there.

Let’s be clear on one thing…this is NOT “referral marketing”. Referral marketing is a carefully crafted system built on trust, relationships and strategy. When done properly, it is one of the best and most cost effective ways to create consistent qualified leads from people who know, like and trust you.

Some of the key factors in building an effective referral system to successfully generate qualified referrals are:

–Ask clients who love you to refer you

–Educate them on your ideal client and your needs so they can recognize a good referral

–Provide them with the right referral marketing tools to make it easy for them to refer you

–Reward them immediately for their efforts

–Follow up in a timely manner with any referrals you receive

Know that developing and implementing a referral marketing system will take time and energy but it will be worth it when it creates a flood of new business.

Brenda Mahoney

Effective Small Business Marketing Coach