Referrals – least expensive, lowest risk, highest potential return for getting new customers or clients

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passing the baton is a great referral analogy As you may know, I’m a big fan of Jay Abraham. So when I’m looking for a new marketing idea, I often turn to his “Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got” book.

Today, I was reading up on referrals. If you really are focused on customer or client satisfaction, this is a great way to leverage that relationship.

If you’re that kind of business person, sometimes it’s difficult to see the Return On Investment (ROI) from all that great service. Other than the customer or client coming back to you for more business. A formal referral system leverages or multiplies the essence of all that extra work you put into every customer of client.

While it would take a huge amount of space to put Jay’s entire referral system in here, here are some of the essential basics:

  1. Know who your ideal prospect is before you start asking for referrals. That way you can tell your prospectees who to look out for.
  2. Really get down and dirty and formalize who your ideal prospect would be. Write it down in great detail. We’re talking demographics here, Just as you should do in any formal marketing plan.
  3. Make a formal list of who you could get referrals from such as vendors, clients, employees, competitors, former competitors, your banker, relatives, church members, association members, etc.
  4. Make certain you stand out from your competitors in some way so it’s easy for people to refer you to others. That will also make it easier for them to point out why they recommend you other than just the job you did for them.
  5. Offer a reward system for referrals. If you’re in a profession that would not allow monetary recompense, offer to help them with their business or to donate to their favorite charity.
  6. Offer the referral a special incentive such as a special discount, a money-back guarantee, a free additional service, etc.
  7. I love this idea. Do something special IN ADVANCE for the person you want to get referrals from. Take them out to lunch, give THEM a referral first, or give them a special report or book with high perceived value.

Leveraging referrals from anyone, not just your customers or clients, is a great way to build your business. Just don’t treat it as a casual thing. Formalize it as a part of your marketing plan and exercise it on a regular basis. Consistency and regularity are key to any successful marketing initiative.

You’ll find a more thorough plan for referrals in the book “Getting Everything YOu Can Out Of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham.

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About the Author:

Bob McClain or WordsmithBob, is a retired website copywriter in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. He has focused on developing new, more effective approaches to web writing, web content, web copywriting and Search Engine Optimization. Starting with a BA in Technical Communication and a minor in Creative Writing from Metro State University in St. Paul, McClain has worked diligently to end the use of "corp-speak" and "technospeak" online. His approach is to “humanize” the Web, using real information to guide people to buy rather than turning websites into advertisements that people can easily ignore.
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