Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Want More Referrals in Your Small Business? Read This ...

I used to think I knew almost everything about how to get new clients via referrals.

Then I read The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself, by John Jantsch.

Simply put, if you're in a business that gets customers by referral, this may be one of the 3 or 4 most-valuable books you ever read.

Rather than rave for 10 pages, let me say this: If you don't get at least 10 immediately useful ideas from reading The Referral Engine, mail it to me, and I will mail you a check for what you paid for it.

That's right -- I'm guaranteeing somebody else's book. Never seen that before, have you?

Here's my mailing address:

Kevin Donlin
Guaranteed Marketing
7455 France Ave. S., #263
Edina, MN 55435

Now, here are three takeaways I got from reading The Referral Engine-- any one of these could get you more clients, starting tomorrow ...

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself 1. Referrals are too important to be left to chance.

If you're good at what you do and you follow the right strategy, you can produce referrals with regularity, like throwing sticks of TNT into a lake will bring fish to the surface (sorry, PETA).

The key: Follow the right referral strategy. And Jantsch helps you do this, with exercises and case studies.

Example: Create a "core talkable difference" about your company, which helps others refer you more easily. You'll know you have a good one when you get this sort of response: "Nobody does that!"

By deciding to actively and systematically pursue referrals, you will get more of them. Yes, it is that simple.

2. Let customers and vendors create attractive content for you.

It's never been easier to use blogging and/or podcasting to make valuable connections with new customers and strategic partners.

Example: Call your best customers, interview them for 10-15 minutes about how your product/service helped them, and post the audio on your web site, blog, iTunes, and other spots online.

You get instant content that resonates with prospects considering your company. Plus, when your customer tells their friends to check out your interview of them, you get free, targeted web traffic.

Bonus points: Transcribe your podcast and you get twice the content.

Don't stop with customers, though. Interview suppliers, non-competitors, vendors, and others. Anyone with an audience you want to reach is a potential interview candidate.

3. Exceed expectations.

"Here's one of my favorite techniques," writes Jantsch. "When a customer orders a product or engages your services, toss in something extra."

This is perhaps the easiest way to over-deliver and prime the referral pump.

Examples include the car dealer who delivers a balloon bouquet to the office of his customer ... who tells curious co-workers about his new car, which leads to referrals.

Or you can simply provide regular status updates to your customers -- when the product will arrive, what to expect when it does, etc.

There are more than three takeaways, of course. I especially liked the last chapter, Snack-sized Suggestions, with 51 different referral systems you can copy and use in one day. I once paid $99 for a set of 93 referral systems similar to these, so this chapter alone is a tremendous value.

This book gets my highest possible recommendation.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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