you've been in business for a while, you've learned to appreciate
the value of word-of-mouth advertising. It costs nothing and
brings in high quality prospects, already sold on your product
Aaah, if only it could happen
It can. With a little planning
and a slightly different focus in your marketing efforts, you can
develop a steady stream of predictable referrals, week after week,
month after month. But first let's understand the difference between
two different types of referrals.
You see, one of them just
happens. The other is orchestrated. Although subtle, the difference
Let's start with the basics
first. Where do referrals come from? From satisfied customers, of
course! Or, better said, from those customers whose expectations we
exceed. Yes, but what are they satisfied with? Heck, that is
precisely what you have to figure out.
You have to realize that every
business transaction consists of two parts. One is the
product/service. Your customers evaluate quality, features, benefits,
price, and how this all compares with your competition.
The second part is the
experience. Customers will evaluate how easy, how fast, convenient,
satisfying and how pleasurable the total experience of doing business
with you is for them.
Do you know any businesses that
deliver an inferior product, yet are able to survive...maybe even do
remarkably well? Chances are that what's lost in the quality of
product is somehow compensated in the quality of experience.
And I'm sure you know some businesses-maybe even yours-which deliver
superb quality products or service, but somehow are not able to
attract as many customers as they could. Quite possibly, the process
of buying needs some work.
Imagine what would happen if
everyone doing business with you felt compelled to talk to others
about your business! To make that happen you'll need a system that
delivers...and delivers consistently. For starters, find out how you
are doing in the area of quality. Develop a simple survey to measure
both, your product and customer's experience. Rate different aspects
of them on a scale:
- for excellent
- for exceeding expectation
And make sure that you provide
space for comments and examples so you know what specifically needs
improving. Then ask your customers for evaluation.
To get ongoing referrals you can
bank on instead of the occasional lead generated by worth-of-mouth
advertising, you need to score consistently "3" in both:
product/service and experience.
Don't fret if your first surveys
come back with lackluster results. They're sure to point to some
areas that need improvement. Make the improvements, then ask your
customers for their feedback again. You can try another survey, or
better yet a small focus group.
Most likely, your customers will
jump at the opportunity to provide you with feedback - they will
easily recognize and appreciate your efforts and that counts a lot.
From now on you will be on the
roll and to get you started on building your business through
referrals.. Good luck!
About the Author:
Wanda Loskot is a professional
business coach - are you ready to make more than "just a
living" and get paid what you are really worth while doing what
you LOVE? - experience http://loska.com Are you tired of prospecting,
cold calling, handling objections? Read "Referrals
Unlimited" - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org