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How To Generate Real Referrals

Many business owners are overlooking the power of referrals and mostly focusing on online marketing. Although internet ads have its advantages, ads don’t compare to referrals.

Some of you may disagree. Yet, when we explore the definition of a referral, I’m sure you’ll reconsider.

What is a referral?

As Stacey Brown states in her blog titled All “Referrals” Aren’t Referrals and Aren’t Created Equal, the definition of a referral has become extremely diluted today.

Most people generalize different types of leads and group together terms.

Understanding the difference between an introduction and cold lead will help you identify the right actions to generate REAL referrals.
Savvy BOSS LADIES teach their clients how to refer qualified new clients.

Types of referrals

When someone mentions your services/products to a friend, it generates word of mouth buzz. The more your name is seen or heard in their world, the more likely they seek you out. Although word of mouth buzz isn’t a referral, free marketing adds credibility and that’s a good thing.

If someone gives you the name of a company or contact information but doesn’t connect you, that’s a cold lead. Although you can use the referral source name, you work just as hard to close the sale as you would any other prospect. Very little trust is transferred from your contact to the referral. In fact, extra work may be needed to build rapport and overcome suspicion.

An introduction provides a little more leverage. When someone introduces you, a transfer of trust is made. The referral source is vouching for you which helps build rapport. This connection is a warm lead. Some effort is still required, especially if the referral source doesn’t explain why she’s connecting you.

When the referral source positions you as being the premier person to solve a problem and the referral contacts YOU, it’s a true referral. They’re already sold on your solution, and the trust is established by the referral source. The only effort required is to listen and not screw up the sale!

Clients who present you on a diamond encrusted platter can grow and sustain your business better than any online marketing funnel can. Rock star clients who send REAL referrals your way are game changers because you’re no longer worried about the next lead. Being sought after is the ultimate position all entrepreneurs dream of so how do you get there?

Marketing your business through referrals is an easy way to grow your business if you do it right. Consistent referrals can be achieved in a systematic way by using these three tips.

1. Inform new clients on how you work. If they know your primary business comes from referrals and how it benefits them, they’ll be more likely to send referrals your way.

2. Teach clients on how to identify your ideal client. If they know who your ideal client is, they will refer qualified people.

3. Show your appreciation to clients when they do refer someone. Once you convert a referral into a client, send your referral source an appreciation gift thanking them for the referral. A thank you card is a nice gesture, but spending a few dollars speaks volumes.

If you need more ideas on what to say, or someone to walk you through the process, lets schedule blueprint session!

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How Personal Touch Will Grow Your Business

How many times have you read about the importance of personal touch in business?

Sure, it sounds sophisticated, but what does it mean and how do you apply it to business?

Committed entrepreneurs struggle with answering these questions and are hesitant to verbalize their challenges, but they shouldn’t.

Let me reassure you, they are not stupid questions.

In fact, many business leaders struggle with applying personal touch tactics because the benefits aren’t identified or measured.

We all have an idea what personal touch means and if Gary Vaynerchuk does it, so should we.

But how much time and effort should we give to personal touch communications and what’s the ROI?

I mean, come on, who has the time to video blog 25 times a day?

When personal touch is applied effectively, it results in repeat business and referrals. Instead of pursuing business, you become the pursued.

In other words, people reach out to YOU to purchase YOUR products/services.

Now how powerful is that?

Personal touch builds the back-end of your business.

Or what I like to call pillow money.

Imagine business flowing to you effortlessly. Clients consistently buying your products and referring others without you asking them.

Yes, it’s very possible and personal touch tactics can get you there.
With the right combination of personal touch and automation, you can become a premier vendor in your industry.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits, let’s define what “personal touch” means.

If you were to google the phrase, you’ll find it simply means to make something less impersonal.

Pretty vague right?
But let’s dig deeper.

Personal touch is all about how you want people to feel when engaging with them. It includes the first interaction and beyond. Every touch point is an opportunity to reinforce that emotion about you.

Whatever emotion you want to evoke determines the tactics and methods of communication to apply in your business. Personal touch can be anything from addressing customers by their first name on email blasts, to appreciation gifts.

What’s important is how you want your customers to feel about you.

For instance, if you want your clients to feel special, a few tactics would include always addressing them by their first name. When sending email blasts, they only see their email not the thousands of other recipients, calling them on their birthday, acknowledging a milestone in their life, etc.

The secret to adding personal touch is the right balance of small tactics that leaves a lasting impression. It’s repeatable, consistent, and it doesn’t take a lot of resources for it to have serious impact. In fact, it can be done on a shoestring budget.

Clients want your TIME and ATTENTION. It’s a basic human need to be acknowledged and accepted. Simple yet thoughtful communication will show clients the time and effort you put into nurturing a relationship with them.

It ultimately shows you care.

In short, personal touch is about how you want your clients to feel. That emotion determines your tactics and communication methods. Whatever you decide, it shouldn’t use a lot of resources. In fact, you should be able to do it on a shoestring budget. Last, consistent thoughtful communication will show clients you care which will open up the flood gates to pillow money!

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How Client Retention Contributes To The Greater Good


If you were to ask an entrepreneur what keeps her up at night, there’s a good chance she’s worried about attracting new clients.

Client retention and referrals takes a back seat to the bright and shiny new client.

We all know repeat business is the low hanging fruit of sales.

In fact, the National Law Review reports it can cost up to 5x more to acquire new customers than to keep current ones.

But customer retention isn’t sexy to many business leaders because it requires maintaining relationships.

And relationship management takes a level of commitment some aren’t accustomed to.

Besides the financial benefits of client retention, there’s also an intrinsic value you should consider.

As social isolation is a growing public health issue, client retention efforts can reduce the effects of loneliness.

I know it seems borderline ridiculous to consider loneliness a threat to public health, but according a Harvard Business Review article titled Work and the Loneliness Epidemic, Vivek Murthy states “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity. It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety.”

What’s alarming are the millions of people who are suffering from social isolation.

In the Daily Science News, an article titled Social Isolation, Loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity,
“An estimated 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study. In addition, the most recent U.S. census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and, since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined.”

With the number of people suffering from loneliness in the millions, chances are your clients are being affected.

Loneliness carries a hefty price tag in business as it reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs reasoning and decision making which translates to thousands of dollars being loss.

Smart business leaders can help reduce loneliness in a number of ways.

Create add value that foster social connection. You can provide opportunities for clients to connect, promote social gatherings in newsletters, and reach out to your rock star clients with a phone call.

Provide opportunities for employees to build stronger connections. Provide opportunities for staff to get to know each other such as allowing a few minutes during weekly meetings for staff to share something about themselves.

Reach out to your network. Check up on people you haven’t seen or heard from in a while with a phone call. They’ll appreciate your call and you maybe the only one who cared enough to check in.

Being connected to others is a fundamental human need and it’s essential for business. Strengthening client relationships adds to your bottom line and contributes to the greater good.

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Relationships: Lessons From A Children’s Show

As I was preparing for the day this morning, I could hear a children’s show on the T.V. “Do something nice for your neighbor” was sung every few minutes.
At first, I was a little annoyed. But as it continued I paused and walked in the living room to see what the show was about. The Neighbor Day episode of Daniel
Tiger’s Neighborhood was playing.

Every time Daniel and his friends sung the phrase, “do something nice for your neighbor,” they performed different activities to show kindness. Daniel helped a neighbor carry grocery bags, helped the mail man deliver packages, gave gifts to neighbors, etc.

I stood there and watched the rest of the show calling to memory the life lessons I was taught as a child and how those lessons prepared me for adulthood.

How often do we as business owners forget to show kindness to our network?

Doing something nice for others is the cornerstone of relationship building because is brings value to their lives.

We all know the importance of relationships in business and some of us are masters at connecting.
Yet there’s always room to show a little more kindness.

Is there someone in your network you’ve been thinking of and haven’t spoken to in a while? A name that continues to pop up during discussions or in social media.

I encourage you to pick up the phone and call that person to check up on him/her. Have a conversation with no hidden agenda, and ask how you can help them.
Maybe you’ll get a business deal out of it, maybe not. The point is to show you care with no strings attached.

When we focus on relationship building, business growth is one of many side effects. The big reward is creating a group of people who care for you and in the grand scheme of things, relationships is the true measurement of a fulfilled life.

 

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Appreciation Marketing: What Is It & Is It Right For You?

Separating yourself from the competition can be challenging. Gone are the days of scarce competition and easily gaining customers.

Trial and error, social media presence, and a range of tactics are a must to get noticed in today’s market place. Not to mention lowering prices and offering incentives to compete can decrease profit margins. This results in a vicious cycle of spending more money to acquire customers just to keep your doors open.

So what’s a simple solution to the rat race?

Appreciation marketing can be the answer

This may sound too woowoo for some people, but showing love to key stake holders can generate massive growth. Business owners like Tommy Wyatt and Lewsey believe it’s the secret to “the holy grail” of customer loyalty.

“What makes you loyal is what will make your customers loyal,” Stated Wyatt & Lewsey in their book Appreciation Marketing: How to achieve greatness through gratitude.

Of course, this technique may not work for all businesses.  I’m not loyal to every  brand or company I do business with.  I’m not loyal to the local grocer, nail shop, or clothing brand. On the contrary, I’m loyal to my massage therapist, chiropractor, and faithful to my mechanic.

I’m sure, you have a list of who you’re loyal to as well.

It’s the relationship in addition to the great work that keeps me loyal. I have personal conversations with staff, we know each other. I know they value my business because they show their appreciation in various ways.  The businesses I’ve received personal cards, small gifts, useful information, and encouragement from earned my business and referrals multiple times over.

Appreciation marketing may sound like fluff, but it’s simple, effective and works on a small budget. Moreover, it’s the most underutilized strategy in business.

Everyone expects to be thanked when they’ve made a purchase, but true appreciation lies in the unexpected thank you. It’s the surprise personal note in the mail or the small gift for a referral that keeps you top of mind.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

For each interaction your client feels uplifted, you stay top of mind and when the client is ready to buy, he/she will make every effort to buy from you.

How to Use Appreciation Marketing in your marketing strategy

Like all new systems, including appreciation tactics in business development takes time initially. Yet when once a system is created, it’ll only take minutes to do. Activities like writing personal notes, sending small gifts, and providing information, won’t take much time to complete.

Of course, there are a few steps in creating an effective appreciation marketing plan. Identifying goals and targeting key stake holders is just the beginning. To get started check out the books below


Need help with getting started? Contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!
If you’re a semi-expert traveler, why not get paid for it? Click here for details.
Looking for an innovative way to improve your business? Click here to learn more.
Contact Us to book your travel!
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