Tag Archives: marketing

What Really Generates Referrals

blue-growth-chart

So much of the literature on the subject of referrals focuses on the proper ways to network, ask for referrals, and create incentive programs for referral sources. While some of these more tactical things do indeed produce referrals for the organizations and salespeople that employ them, they are often little more than window dressing when it comes to the big picture.

Building a foundation that automatically generates referral momentum is not done through external actions  like some many things in life, you do it from the inside out. Plain and simple the most widely referred business are purely more referable.

I’ve studied a lot of businesses that easily generate referrals and they share some common internal tendencies as part of their brand and culture.

Make people look good

Looking at all business relationships with an eye on making prospects, customers, vendors, mentors, and staff look and feel good is a tremendously attractive internal quality. I read this quote recently and I think it works well here – “To a large degree, our success and happiness in life depends on how much people like themselves when they’re with us.” Joe Caruso

Ready to refer

We all know that giving referrals is one of the best ways to get referrals, but the difference lies in the systematic preparation. There is a big difference between understanding this philosophically and practicing proactively. Building your back pocket with a group of  “best of class” providers takes work. You’ve got to discover, recruit, train and build the trust necessary to develop a proven network of providers who can help you add value to your client relationships, but once you do, the rest is pretty easy.

Keeps promises

The word trust is easy to use and even easier to lose. But, as Stephen M.R. Covey so correctly points out in his book, The Speed of Trust,  trust is a hard currency and asset. Trust impacts how fast things are done and how much they cost. It is so much easier and less expensive to refer a business that keeps its promises.

Creates an experience

We will travel to the ends of the earth to be entertained or at least not bored to tears. The businesses we love to refer aren’t boring. They realize that it’s not just about the product and service they sell, it’s equally about the total experience,  the marketing, the message, the people, the processes, the delivery are all carefully considered as props integral to a successful customer experience.

Educates, instead of selling

Nobody likes to refer a friend to a sales pitch, right? But, exposing a friend to information that might help them get more of what they want out of life, now that’s a different story. Even better when that information is packaged and presented in multiple locations, formats, and venues.

Adds value beyond price

In Bob Burg’s book the Go-Giver the main character, Joe, encounters the 5 laws of stratospheric success. The first law, the Law of Value states that your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. This is a tough one for so many people because we often have no great baseline for the value we bring. The key here is to work tirelessly to understand, quantify and enhance the value our customer receives and the rest will take care of itself.

Does something talkable

My spell check isn’t balking at the word talkable, but I think it properly expresses this one. You’ve certainly encountered the concept of word of mouth constantly of late, but I think that concept tends to lean heavily on tactics and stunts, like viral videos, that might create a flurry of word of mouth. To do something talkable to me is to have something at the core of your business, a higher purpose, an inspirational story, a product or service that is simply brilliant, or a habit that makes people smile. Authenticity and consistency are what make something talkable.

Exceeds expectations

This one seems pretty easy, but why isn’t it. When someone buys a product, toss other stuff in the box, right? Maybe, but the only way to actually exceed expectations is to know what they are. And that’s where people fall down. In business and in life, it’s extremely difficult to exceed an expectation you have not participated in setting. Widely referred business work very hard to set the proper expectations and then it’s pretty simple matter to exceed them. So, you see exceeding expectations might also include understanding and attracting the right customers, laying exactly how you work to get results on the line, teaching customers what’s expected of them, and even saying no once and while.

Focus on even one of the internal mindsets and practices above and watch how much more referable you become.

I also created a public mindmap of this article and would love it if you would contribute your thoughts on the tactical elements of each of these principles listed above. You do have to sign-up for a free Mindmeister account to add your thoughts, but it’s a pretty cool tool anyway so you might like to play around with it. You can find the map here – http://www.mindmeister.com/23949165

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John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting http://www.ducttapemarketing.com

Making the most of B2B telemarketing

Author: Maria Morton

cold call
Photo by clickrme
Regardless of your personal thoughts about the appropriateness of being cold canvassed during your evening meal, telemarketing is a thriving industry and could be the new lease on life that your company needs. In the business-to-business arena, effective telemarketing services can serve a number of purposes: increase exposure to new customers, follow-up cold leads, set appointments, raise your profile, conduct customer research, update databases, gain permission to continue marketing contact, or promote new products and services.

While it’s true that telemarketing may add new dimensions of profit to fledgling sales revenue, you have to know how to use it to its potential and put effort into making the most of this well-proven tactic. Telemarketing is like any other marketing activity; it benefits from both commercial planning and creativity, and reflects the amount of effort you put into it.

Choosing a telemarketing service

If you decide that telemarketing is an activity to include in your marketing mix, it may be worthwhile investigating one of the outsourced providers rather than suddenly deciding to include it on your existing staffs’ job description. Cold calling is often considered a less-than-desirable activity by internal staff, and sales people would usually prefer to spend their time contacting warm or qualified leads. Things to consider when choosing a telemarketing provider:

• What is their customer service like? After all, they won’t treat your customers any better than they’re treating you.

• Do they have a pilot program which allows you to ‘dip your toe’ in the water?

• What is the minimum number of contacts you must provide?

• Can you pause or expedite the program depending on your capacity to service new business?

• Can they assist you with leads or recommend list brokers?

• Do they charge per call or do they have some other pricing model?

The first point is telling. When choosing to use the services of any outsourced company, take note of how they treat YOU as a potential customer. Do they respond in a timely manner to your enquiry, are they happy to explain their services to you, are their own processes streamlined and customer-focused? Remember, if you aren’t happy with their treatment of you, would you really want them representing your business?

Be prepared

Before you embark on a telemarketing campaign, it is worthwhile to prepare beforehand the information that you will be asked to provide, which may include:

• Description of your business and your ideal customer;

• Your unique selling proposition (USP);

• Why do your clients currently buy from you, why should they buy from you?

• Who are your competitors?

• What is your current sales process?

• What do you hope to achieve with a telemarketing campaign; e.g. appointment setting, database updating, research?

• How would you define a successful campaign?

If you would like more information about using telemarketing as a marketing option to grow your customer base, Plenty Systems works with a number of full-service providers and we would be happy to make recommendations based upon our own experiences.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-articles/making-the-most-of-b2b-telemarketing-1413755.html

About the Author:

Maria Morton is a director of Plenty Systems, an Australian marketing and training services business that assists companies to increase their revenue through strategic goal setting, marketing action plans and by providing the manpower to make it happen. Maria has almost 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and corporate communications. For additional marketing resources, including her monthly newsletter Plenty News, visit her website at www.plentysystems.com.au

Local Marketing Tips and Tricks

Author: Lou Bortone

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For entrepreneurs, “going local” is an important aspect of your marketing. For many small businesses all marketing is local marketing.

The three keys to community marketing are as follows:

1. Get local: target your marketing efforts down to the neighborhood level

2. Get involved: participate in the community to generate visibility and good will

3. Get personal: as much as possible, market on a one-to-one, face-to-face basis

Here are some tips and techniques to get you started:

Use local city-specific Web sites and local portals

City and town Web sites, as well as local versions of major portals, are growing in number and popularity. Maintain a presence on local sites by providing content  or by advertising. In addition to local versions of AOL’s Cityguide, community-oriented Web sites like Yelp.com and Judysbook.com (which has the added advantage of covering suburbs and small towns in addition to major cities) are becoming more common.

Use local search engines and directories

Make sure you’re listed with local search engines and city-specific directories. Local.com and CitySearch are two such search engines. A newer, but more “hyper-local” site is Backfence.com.

Set your Google ad to appear locally

If you operate a local business and advertise on Google, you can target local customers only. Google lets you set ads to appear only to people in a particular city, state or region. In the AdWords section, click on “For local businesses” under “How it works.”

Get involved in your community

Volunteer, serve on local boards, participate in your local Chamber of Commerce and work for local charities as a way to grow your grassroots marketing efforts. You may find that your neighbors become your customers. For volunteer opportunities, visit idealist.org, The United Way, or Rotary International.

Support community events

Take your community involvement one step further by supporting community events. Sponsor a youth hockey team, or get involved with local events and activities. Small business associations such as SCORE offer tips for establishing a strong presence in your local community. Suggestions include starting a local newsletter or creating a local advisory board made up of customers. John Jantsch’s “Duct Tape Marketing” blog’s “In your own backyard” section is insightful as well.

Make the most of local media and publicity opportunities

Generate awareness for your business locally by writing op-eds in the local newspaper, getting booked on local radio talk shows, and advertising in the good, old-fashioned Yellow Pages. Craigslist continues to be an excellent local resource. For help getting booked on radio talk shows and otherwise generating local publicity, seek out the services of a good local public relations consultant by searching the directory of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Other local marketing options to keep in mind…

* Explore cause-related marketing opportunities to generate good will for your company.

* Consider taping a TV show on your local public access station  it’s usually free.

* Give your Web site or blog a local focus or start a local blog.

* Develop a customer advisory board to get input from local customers.

* Create alliances with non-competing businesses  I’ll help you if you help me.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/local-marketing-tips-and-tricks-340864.html

About the Author:

Lou Bortone is a former radio and television executive who now serves as a marketing and branding consultant. He is the author of “Wiseguy Wisdom: Success Secrets from Godfathers to Goodfellas.” His website is: http://www.VirtualGodfather.com