If one of your potential customers were to ask a friend
“I need an xyz, do you know anyone that’s good that can provide me with it?”
Wouldn’t it be great if that friend said
“You need to speak to <first name>, they’re the best in the market for that”
Instant qualified referral. Kerching!
How do you get yourself known in the market for your product of service so this happens to you – all the time?
The right product
Firstly, you have to have a high quality product or service. A product or service that delivers exactly what you said it would. In fact it should over-deliver. It needs to be better quality, more reliable, more durable than you promised. Not over-engineered, but just plain great.
The right service
The service accompanying your product needs to be great too. Make every contact with the client a pleasure, even if you are dealing with a complaint or problem.
If you have a receptionist then make sure they are your director of first impressions, because if you great every client or prospect with a smile and a helpful demeanour , you’ll be surprised how quickly word gets around about your quality of service.
Make sure your telephones are answered promptly and politely. Every missed call is a missed opportunity to create the right impression.
Use a quality call answering service to take over-flow calls. Make sure they are well briefed and that you have a prompt call-back process if they can’t answer the callers enquiry.
Even if they can answer the enquiry, still follow up with a call back from one of your own team to ensure the caller is happy with the outcome.
Spreading the word
Great service is the first step in spreading the word about you and your business. It’s also the cheapest way to generate repeat and referral business. Your clients will do if for you – for free
Referrals – on the subject of word of mouth, many clients will tell other people about you. But why leave it to chance. Ask them – “who do you know who might also benefit from our product or service?”
Offer them an incentive – a gift or rebate for both the client and the referree. Or perhaps create a referral scheme or prize draw.
Run a prize draw – but make the prizes worthwhile. One dentists referral prize draw has prizes of a weekend in New York, Apple iPads etc. right down to apples. Total prize fund of £5,000. Total new revenue generated from the campaign – tens of thousands of pounds. Knowing your numbers is key here.
Testimonials – do you ask your clients for a testimonial you can use in your marketing. Most business owners don’t. I don’t know if it’s our naturally reserved nature or fear of rejection, but actually, most happy clients aqre even happier to oblige.
Telling the world – one of the best ways of building your authority is to share your knowledge and experience with your potential clients – for free. I’m not suggesting giving your core products or services away for nothing. But your experience and knowledge are vast. Sharing just a little free will really boost your credibility.
That’s exactly what bloggers like me do.
That’s exactly what the lead magnets you give away to get contact details do.
The more freely you give, the quicker your reputation will build.
And as people taste your wares, they will want to come back for the full menu.
Get others to tell the world – this is the dark art of PR. But actually, it’s not that dark an art. It’s about having an interesting story to tell and finding the right people to tell it.
Successful PR is partly crafting the right message in the right way and partly finding the right outlets for that message.
Help is on hand
If you are selling business to business, LinkedIn is the perfect platform for you to tell the world.
With over 370 million users worldwide and 18+ in the UK alone, your ideal business client is bound to be on there.
With a powerful personal profile and through connecting in the right way, you can find and attract your target clients.
With special interest groups and the Pulse publishing platform you have the perfect tools to showcase your knowledge.
And LinkedIn has a built in referral system.
Properly harnessed, LinkedIn can give your business a distinct advantage. Want to do more with LinkedIn, then listen to a recording of my webinar: LinkedIn – making the selling easy. Sign up for free here.