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WEBSITE MARKETING

Build A Referral Base That Increases Your Business
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-03-26

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    Build A Referral Base That Increases Your Business
    by Carole Nicolaides

    Almost everyone knows that it costs less to sell to a
    current customer or a referral than to acquire a new
    customer. Your most productive marketing strategy is
    to get new business through referrals of current customers.
    Yet, most business owners do not use this method.

    Your primary goal in creating such a strategy is to make
    sure that you are providing value for your existing clients.
    Once they know how much they receive from your services,
    they will naturally spread the word. Because they trust your
    services they will provide you with word-of-mouth
    advertising without even thinking about it.

    Build relationships with people; use all the resources that
    you have including old friends, peers, and church
    communities. Your job is to create a customer pipeline
    from all your resources. Research shows that each person
    is linked to all other people by no more than a factor of six.
    You never know who your friends or customers know. Talk
    to your friends and give them an opportunity to become
    ambassadors for your products or services.

    An excellent way to do this is to build a referral team.
    Simply identify 10 to 20 people who have the ability to
    meet the kind of people you want to meet. Educate your
    team members. Make them aware of what you can do for
    people, and also become aware of what your team members
    do. Over time team members will begin to promote each
    other… providing excellent referrals. You may consider
    providing each team member with something tangible to
    give prospects. Newsletters, business cards or brochures
    work wonderfully.

    Another method of building a referral base is to ask for
    referrals. When your clients are pleased with a product or
    service you’ve provided, ask them to mention you to their
    associates. You can also ask your clients to provide names
    and contact information for those they think might be
    interested in your services. The most effective time to ask
    for referrals is immediately following the completion of a
    successful sale.

    If you incorporate traits of relationship marketing into your
    business style, you will be more likely to receive referral
    business from existing clients. When customers know you
    sincerely care about them, and their success, they become
    more willing to share you with their associates.

    Here are a few tips as you ask for referrals.

    1. Start the discussion by letting your client know this
    is an important area of your business. Mention that, while
    others may ask for referrals in passing, you are truly
    interested in helping your client’s friends and associates.

    2. Make it clear that you are asking for their help, yet
    you understand if they choose not to participate.

    3. Explain the process and let them know what you’d
    like for them to do.

    4. Ask them if you can get to know their friends - this
    one is one of my favorites mainly because it shocks most
    people. Offer to throw a party to which they can invite
    their associates. See for yourself if some of their
    acquaintances may need your services.

    5. Share with them exactly what type of customers you
    are looking for. Don’t assume that others will be able to
    decide your preferred client type. Be specific.

    6. Ask for quality referrals and not quantity. One
    good, repeat customer far outweighs a dozen small,
    one-time customers.

    It will not happen overnight. Building a solid referral base
    takes time. However, remember that referrals are one of the
    strongest forms of advertising. As you develop a network
    of people who are promoting your business on your behalf,
    you will see your sales increase.

    Carole is President of Intentional Success Coaching offering
    Personal Success Coaching, Marketing, Business Planning &
    Internet Success Consulting. Visit her today for your FREE
    coaching session and newsletter.http://www.intentionalsuccess.com



    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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