1. People like Farmers, Not Hunters!
I am not talking about digging out your old mucky wellingtons and tending to the local sheep (unless you are a farmer, of course!). What I am saying is that taking the time to nurture your professional relationships is far more effective than ‘going in for the kill’ for a one-off deal.
Your clients are your livelihood and ultimately, your wages. If you want to be successful and if you want to continue to be successful, you need to make the effort to build and maintain strong working relationships.
Many businesses are only concerned with their clients when it suits them. Some businesses have to spend large amounts of cash on advertising. You don’t.
People buy from businesses they know, like and trust, so make sure you become that company. If you make the effort to nurture those positive professional relationships, you can build a lifetime of valuable referrals.
2. We’re All Trendsetters!
Think about how many people you know that eat at the same restaurants, drink at the same bars and shop at the same supermarkets. Maybe your children attend the same school as their older siblings or cousins did. Somewhere down the line, referrals have been made. It is unlikely that you, your colleagues and your friends all shop at a particular store just because of the products it offers; you shop there because at some point in your life, it was recommended to you. Maybe you noticed the carrier bag logo and trusted someone’s judgement of a good shop. Maybe you used to shop somewhere else and a friend recommended this supermarket as an alternative. Referrals breed referrals. Being aware of that is key to your success in business.
3. Everyone Likes to Be Cared About!
Everyone has a favourite contact; someone they know will get the job done and someone they like and trust.
In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, customers value ‘the personal touch’ more than ever. If you want to keep your business at the top of your customers’ minds, you need to put in the hard work and go that extra mile to show that you care.
Building a strong ‘keep in touch’ plan where you regularly engage with your market will help to ensure that you are always the ‘go-to’ company for your clients.
Think about the kind of tailored content and helpful information that will make your customers think highly of you. Offering loyalty schemes and exclusive discounts are also effective ways of showing your contacts that you care. It’s all about keeping your name at the tips of their tongue; to nurture and sustain your professional relationships.
80% of your competitors will not be doing this; so be the name that stands out!
4. The One that’s Ahead Wins!
Put on your ‘consumer caps’ and think about the businesses you deal with, as a customer. What company comes to mind first? What business immediately stands out from the rest? At the risk of sounding like some sort of psychic (which, for the record, I’m not!), I can almost guarantee that it’s the business you hear from most often; the company that makes that extra effort to do the things that others don’t do.
Maybe you haven’t thought about it in this much detail before; maybe you haven’t looked into the reasons why some companies stand out more than others but when you start to break it down, they are quite obvious.
The point I am trying to make is that you should strive to be this business. When your clients think of their contacts, you should be the business that comes to mind first.
5. Your Customers Know a Lot of Prospects!
Most of your existing clients will know around 250 people who they can strike up a conversation with. So, if all of your clients know 250 people who also know 250 people, that’s a whopping amount of people you could do business with! (Imagine how much it would cost you to reach that many customers through a traditional advert!)
Remember that it costs nothing for your clients to talk, so make sure you give them something worth mentioning!
6. People Are Sick of Sales Mumbo-Jumbo!
Nowadays, everyone seems to know how to knock out a decent sales letter or how to use cheesy objection handling techniques. The enormity of call centre handlers and door-to-door salespeople have enabled most people to be able to spot a sales pitch when they hear one. That’s why referral marketing is so important! By nurturing your professional relationships, you are giving your customer the opportunity to really get to know you and your business – not just shoddy sales hype.
After all, in this highly connected age, can you really expect many customers to part with their hard earned cash on the basis of just a sales pitch?
So there you have it – from my desk to yours – my top 6 reasons why referral marketing really works.
I’ll be back in touch soon with more exclusive secrets, tips and advice.
In the meantime, if you want to discover how your business can benefit from referral marketing, get in touch today on (phone and email) for a friendly chat.
Founder of Just Ask Marketing!