The phone rings. You answer it. The person on the other line says, “Bob Smith suggested I call you. He said you can help me.” Ahhhh! It’s a beautiful day!!!
How often does that happen to you? Probably not often enough. But with a little marketing planning, you can dramatically increase your referral business. The result is bigger sales for your small business. The most important thing is to keep in touch with people on a regular, consistent basis.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Most small business owners know they need to do these things. But few have any type of marketing system for keeping in touch with the right people. Even fewer small business owners know the right way to ask for referrals.
Who should be on your contact list?
EVERYONE! Past clients, prospects, business associates, friends, neighbors, even people who at one point thought they might use your services, then changed their mind.
The biggest mistake we make is to think, “Oh, those people know what my small business is. I don’t need to market to them.”
Yes, your neighbor, your banker, and the people in your Rotary group probably do know about your business. But when they think of you, they think of you walking the dog, making a deposit, or organizing a meeting.
Because they don’t see you in your professional capacity, they don’t think of you that way–unless you use a smart marketing strategy to remind them. And, as much as we’d like to think we are unforgettable to our past clients, they start to forget about us in as little as six weeks!
Obviously, when making a marketing plan to keep in touch with your contacts, time and budget need to be considered. You will want to see some people once a week. Others will simply get a monthly e-mail newsletter. No matter what, talking about your business, mailing personal notes and cards, and sending regular e-mail newsletters to all of your contacts is vital to building business.
By marketing to your contacts on a regular, consistent basis, you will ensure these people think of you whenever they hear of someone else who might need your product or service. The result? More referrals, more business and more sales!