Referral marketing is essentially free marketing. John Jantsch, in The Referral Engine, spends a significant part of his book reminding you that building an empowered staff is a meaningful, often-neglected, part of your referral marketing strategy. Why? Because employees who believe in the business they work for and support and who are given a voice are both an important part of your customers’ experience AND referral engines themselves. IF your employees are happy and believe in the company they will refer. I’ve already written extensively about empowering employees so check the links below for more.

But the core of this is Is Your Business Worth Referring? What makes it so? Jantsch says:

“There are three ingredients necessary for a rewarding and successful business experience:You must enjoy what you do and feel a sense of purpose; you must be good at what you do; and you must be able to convince other people to pay you for what you do.

What can you do to make your business worth referring?

Stand out. Be interesting. Do something different. Be ethical. KEEP YOUR WORD. Know your customers. Which one of them is your ideal customer? (Work backwards to help with this: who is NOT your ideal customer?). Do the necessary research to understand exactly what they need and want.

Communicate. Stay in touch with customers. Contact unhappy customers immediately. Contact happy customers routinely.

Educate them. Do this via a blog, a newsletter, a video or a phone call. Write a book. Do them all. Tell them your story. Let them know you and your business on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter.

Be enthusiastic. If you aren’t enthusiastic about your business, why in the world would a customer be, especially enough to refer you to someone else.

And, finally, from a faith-based standpoint, remind yourself and your staff to always, ALWAYS, treat customers like you want to be treated as a customer and a person yourself. The way we treat people routinely says a lot about how strong our faith is.

As part of your referral marketing, spend some real time developing a strategy around making your business truly worth referring and distribute it to your team. Walk the walk!

In the next post, we’ll discuss how to develop your workable referral plan.

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How To Motive Employees

New Thoughts on Employee Motivation, Part 1

New Thoughts on Employee Motivation, Part 2

 

by Steven Schlagel