Saturday, March 17, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Great article from MICHELLE KISS from Clicktime https://www.clicktime.com/blog/6-proven-ways-to-get-referrals-without-asking-for-them/
Referrals are from people you know, like and trust (klt) and who know like and trust you - join us at a bbg forum www.bbg.business
One major consequence of the internet has been the proliferation of choice, in all arenas. Remember when you walked into clothing stores and picked out what was on the shelf? How quaint. Looking for a new kind of toothpaste? Here are 75!
When it comes to material objects, figuring out what you need can usually be done through online reviews. For services, however, the currency is still the personal reference. Think about it: when you need a service, would you rather read 400 online reviews, then make your best guess, or would you rather hire a referral from someone you legitimately trust?
Even if you have a dedicated marketing team, if you’re a service agency, building a business still means generating referrals. For any other agency, good referrals are your best sales opportunities and are always worth getting. Here’s how.
1. Don’t Ask For Referrals — Your Clients Should Want To Give Them
Most advice about referrals comes down to “ask clients to refer you.” While this is sometimes appropriate, it can also put your clients in a difficult position. After all, if you’re asking a client to refer you, you’re asking them to put their own reputation on the line.
So instead of asking them to go to bat for you, teach your clients how to refer you. Make it clear in your materials that you rely on referrals. Don’t just say that you’re looking for new clients; ask your current clients for advice, to make them feel involved in your success. Remind clients of their colleagues, and ask if they have similar problems to the ones you’re currently solving.
The point isn’t to ask directly, it’s to subtly nudge.
2. Give Lots of Referrals
Simply doing good work means that your clients will think of you when someone asks them for a referral.
The problem? That’s not enough. Especially if you're trying to manage difficult clients. What you really want is for your clients to have you in the front of their mind, to be alert to opportunities, so that when then hear something related to you, you’ll automatically pop into their head.
How to do this? One way is to be someone who gives lots of referrals. To be the person your clients and friends know is looking out for them. This puts you all on the same team, and leads you to work for one another’s success. In this, referrals are like boomerangs: they always come back to you.
3. Focus on Newer Customers
Remember when you ate at that new, amazing restaurant nobody else knew about? Couldn’t you not wait to tell people about it?
When you’ve done work for a new client — solved a particularly difficult problem for them, or given them a service they’d never had before — you are that new restaurant. You’re the thing your clients can’t stop talking about. It’s these clients you can safely ask for referrals, since they’ll be excited to share.
Once you’ve worked with someone for a long time, you’re more like the regular Friday night restaurant: your customers still love you, but they’ve lost the urge to spread the gospel.
4. Thank Your Referrers (Preferably with Gifts)
You probably know this already, but a great way to make sure people keep referring you is to give them something nice. Buy them a gift certificate. Send a cake. Find out what their hobbies are, and give them a neat item that shows you’ve done your homework.
You don’t have to promise this in advance; in fact, this often works better when your gift is a surprise. This small expenditure works wonders: it shows your clients that you appreciate their referrals, and gives them an incentive to refer you again.
5. Know the Difference Between a Referral and a Lead
Sometimes when you ask for referrals, you’ll get a nice list of potential clients. The problem? That’s not a referral, it’s a set of leads.
The difference is important. A referral is a personal introduction that explicitly recommends you, and it takes care of the introductory salesmanship for you. A lead is just a name — you have to do the work to convince that person they should talk to you.
How to get referrals instead of leads? Here’s an idea: don’t ask client whom they know. Instead, ask them whom they like, or whom they’d recommend. Doing this immediately narrows down the list, ensuring that everyone on it is someone your client isn’t anxious about sending you to. Once you’ve done that, you can ask your client if they’d be willing to make a connection.
6. Create a (Legitimate) Product for Clients to Hand Out
If you’re looking for referrals, you can either ask your clients to pass your name along, or you can do that work yourself. How? By giving your clients something that’s actually useful to the people whom they’d refer you to.
By “something useful,” we mean something they can’t get anywhere else. Like a useful book people might not know about, with your name pasted to the inside. Or an info sheet you’ve put together. Or an authoritative guide to something you know about. Or a tool that not everybody has.
The key is this: instead of putting this thing on your website, give it to your clients, and give them more than they need. Instead of asking your clients for referrals, ask them if they’d be willing to put the thing somewhere where other clients can see it. This gets examples of your work in the hands of new potential clients, but without making your current clients uncomfortable.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018
- (Goals) Spend some quiet time thinking about what you want to achieve this year (not just at work) and then write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it.
- (Tasks) Daily schedule the 5 most important and productive things you need to do that day.
- (Action) Do them.
- Do the hard things first. (Eat the frog)
- (Wins) Celebrate your wins - even the small ones.
- (Nice) “Be nice” Be kind to others as a regular practice AND be kind to yourself.
- (Accept failure) Instead of viewing problems and frustrations as setbacks view them as learning and growth opportunities. Perhaps one of the biggest growth opportunities is learning to let go of your own personal melodrama.
- (Br grateful ) Be Grateful Look for opportunities daily to serve, smile and say, "Thank you
Written by Adrian Stewart
As silos crumble around us and the world becomes more connected, integrated, and seamless, it’s becoming harder to see where one thing ends and another begins
1. Start with Why
It’s been proven that purpose-led organisations outperform their competitors. With a clear unifying purpose, your team and your stakeholders have a clear focus to rally behind and your customers have more than something to buy — they have something to buy into
Recommended reading: How Organisational Purpose Will Make You Outperform Your Competitors
2. Know Your Market
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is trying to speak to too many people. In an increasingly competitive environment, understanding your market and your customers is more important than ever. Taking the time to do a deep dive into both gives you the necessary insights to deliver real differentiated value that your customers actually care about.
Recommended reading: How to Achieve Product/Market Fit
3. Present Your Value
It’s not how good you are; it’s how good you appear to your customers. You may have the best product around, but if you aren’t communicating your value clearly, succinctly, and persuasively, be prepared to get lost in the noise.
Recommended reading: The Advanced Guide to Brand Positioning
4. Get Focused
Time and time again, businesses try and do too much and end up getting nowhere. Strategy is about choices, and by identifying the top opportunities and challenges upon which to focus, you can more effectively leverage your limited resources for maximum results.
Recommended reading: The Death of the SWOT Analysis and the Rise of the Strategic Radar
5. Check Your Foundations
In the quest for innovation and pursuit of the next big thing, it’s easy to forget about the fundamentals. But without strong foundations, no amount of innovation will save you. Fixing the foundations by taking a look at your customer journey — from the way customers find out about you to the way your customers are asked for referrals or reviews — often yields the biggest returns because, after all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
6. Establish Your Digital Fundamentals
As the lines between physical and digital become increasingly blurred, the importance of optimising your digital presence is greater than ever. Your customers’ lives are not neatly split between physical and digital; rather they’re a seamless whole. The more effectively you capitalise on that, the more successful you’ll be.
Recommended reading: What CMOs Need to Know about Digital Marketing
7. Identify Your Customer Experience Multiplier
Word of mouth has long been one of the most effective forms of marketing, and nowadays the scale of reach has increased ten fold. Deliver a remarkable customer experience, known as lightning strikes, and make it easy for your customers to talk about you and reap the rewards.
Recommended reading: 6 Things You Should Be Doing to Engage Your Customers (But Probably Aren’t)
8. Find Your Step Change
To paraphrase Jack Welch, if you’re not innovating faster than the market, you’re losing. And in a time of constant change and evolution, staying still is a recipe for disaster. The pressure is on to continually be growing, developing, and looking for ways to improve on previous performance.
Recommended reading: Unpacking Innovation: How You Can Be an Innovator
9. Define Your Strategy
It’s all well and good to launch a series of growth initiatives, but unless they’re part of a coherent strategy, you aren’t realising the full value. Taking the time to focus, make the tough choices, and crystallise a clearly defined and understood strategy ensures that your growth initiatives work together to achieve your core objectives.
Recommended reading: The 3 Absolute Essentials of Good Strategy
10. Get Moving
The real value of any strategy lies in its execution. An average strategy well executed is better than a great strategy that sits in a bottom drawer. But the true value comes from a great strategy well executed. But no strategy survives its first engagement with reality, so move quickly, be agile, and develop safe-fail tests where required.
So there you have it, a very brief helicopter view of Growth Strategies: A Marketing Toolkit for the Modern World.
Adrian Stewart is a Senior Strategy Exec at Step Change.