Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Three R's of Success - Referrals

This is the second in a series on the three R's of success. If you missed the first entry on Relationships click here for the article.

How many times have you shared a story about an experience you had at a shop, restaurant or attraction? This could be a good story about a positive experience or it could be bad, something that prevents you from ever going back. Chances are you have and you might not even know you did it.

Did you know there is a marketing strategy that is built solely on referrals? What would you do differently if you knew your income depended entirely on referral business? If your business model did not rely on repeat business but on referral business, it would be fair to say you would approach most customers and most transactions in a totally different way than you currently are.

There are multiple times during customer interaction where asking for a referral is timely and acceptable. You could ask for a referral after the sale, after exceeding the customer's expectations, or any time during your interaction. The key to successful referral marketing isn't necessarily when you ask, but that you ask proactively in the first place. We are not accustomed to asking for referrals. But, if you know you just hit a home run with your level of service ask your customer to tell others. It could be a family member, a neighbor or someone in their circle of friends that shares their same issue.

Whatever the reason, just ask. That referral might be THE customer that makes your day, your week or your year. And all you had to do was ask. Do you know how much that costs? Just a few words and a few seconds of your time. Isn't it worth the investment?

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