Tag Archives: Target market

Increase Business Sales through Giving More Referrals

How To Increase Your Business Sales By Giving more Referrals.

What you are about to read will significantly increase your company’s sales. I am writing it because referrals represent the largest bucket of new sales acquisition for many small and medium businesses, and are the most difficult thing to increase in volume. We all love them, and can’t seem to generate enough of them.  First a short background on why we think referral programs are both important and generally are complete implemented in the wrong way.

English: Kansas Lottery Yearly Sales Graph.


One of our services to clients besides Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization is a

Sales Crystal Ball program. It falls in the category of sales acceleration. In its basic form, the final product will tell a business where its next 12 months of customers will come from, and how to sell them in half the time.

English: A Crystal Ball I created in 3D. Suppo...

To accomplish this we look at a large data set of former customers. With in that data we find the largest commonality matches. Those of course turn into a target market. A message based on the findings ofwhy former customers purchased, is developed and then delivered to the new target market.

As an example, we recently finished a Crystal Ball program for a client that clearly identified that 90% of what they had described as their best customers were all part of one organization. The vast majority of their best customers

had 6 or more employees and the vast majority of those had been in business 10 years or more. The new target market was very defined and easy to identify.

Here is where finding new clients becomes a challenge, as most of the clients customers in the above crystal ball assessment came from referrals, and this is the case with most of the businesses we work with. When assessing where new clients find them, the number one (by far) way is almost always through a referral.  This is really a good sign as it demonstrates the company does great work. The problem is if you want to build new sales at an accelerated rate you can not just wait for someone to refer you, and most referral systems you can build have a limited success rate, although certainly worth the effort to develop.


Here is why a referral program doesn’t build sales quickly. Its premise is an anti altruistic tit for tat system.In other words you ask for something before you give.

A tit for tat system is simple. I give you something that is valuable, and you feel the need to return the kindness.

In a referral system, you are saying, give me something and I will be thankful, or I will give you a reward. In human nature, that’s a turn off (There are a few exceptions to this rule of course).

To have a truly successful referral program, you must reverse the tit for tat process. You must start the system by giving the customer a gift or help of some sort that has real and unique value.  Value has a tendency to be returned in equal or higher quantities.  This value you give needs to be a surprise, not baked into a system.

A personal example of the power of a tit for tat system is when your neighbors drop off some home baked cookies before the holidays. They just show up and hand you a gift with a smile. Soon you may find yourself baking a batch for them, or returning the kindness in some other way, but chances are it will be cookies or food. This point is very important.  Tit for tat values are generally the same stuff given back and forth.

A business example: B2B

If you want other business to promote your service, you must first, promote their business. If you really want a business to refer you, you need to refer them first!

So it all comes down to this when we discuss referral programs.  Instead of building a “we will give you something for a referral”, you need to build an internal process and culture that says, we will give our customers referrals. Then you need to actively find those opportunities. If your sales person(s) can find an honest way to refer one prospect to your better clients a week, you will be pleasantly surprised at the effect it will have on your sales. Even better is to find a way to constantly promote your best clients, so there is an ongoing process of giving.

How to start:

  • Make a list of all of your better clients.
  • Next to the company note the services or products they sell.
  • Next to that, add a note of  the clients or associates who might need or purchase their services in the future.
  • Now make a list of introductions you can make.

You see where this goes. You can send an email to both parties as an e introduction.  You can call them and introduce the other party. You can set up a lunch for them to meet each other.  You can hold a quarterly networking meeting for all the clients.

Another system is to develop an ongoing promotional program on your site, or in your newsletter, that allows you to promote your best clients.  Call them and ask if they would like to be listed or promoted through those opportunities.  If you are really into this, you can even add some ad words PPC to drive some traffic to the resource page on your site, using the clients keywords.

There are as many ways to provide referrals to your clients as there are ways to promote a business. Be creative and give first, and do not make this process public or part of a sales presentation.


303 500 3054 ext 1

My One Call LLC


SEOmoz talks about this in a how to get links article here http://www.seomoz.org/blog/my-favorite-way-to-get-links-and-social-shares-whiteboard-friday


Enhanced by Zemanta

SEO, Social Media, and P.R. in Denver

Starbucks on Briggate
Image via Wikipedia

A company’s Social Media program is in intent, very similar to the reasons they  may employe search engine optimization programs. Both bring visibility to their web site, and web properties. Both are promotional devices.

Good SEO and Social media is nothing more than great P.R.  So to really understand either, a business needs to understand P.R. first.

I am not a P.R. expert.  What I do understand about it, is it’s all about making your business stand out, and attractive to your target market, and therefore you have to start with the well thought out process of knowing who your target market is, and what they want.

Notice the word want, not need in the above sentence. The number one mistake you can make is talking about what your prospects need. Frankly, a lot of what you think your prospects need, is really boring. Do you see Chevrolet promoting the most basic form of automobile transportation possible?  Nope, they promote the flash people want.  You should do the same.

So, your first two tasks in Social Media and SEO  need to be:

  • Who are my people?
  • Want do they want?

If you are a bagel shop (I use this because I once owned three of them) you can promote what your prospects need,  that being breakfast. ” Come get breakfast at Mike’s Bagel and coffee”

Or what they want.

“Come enjoy a freshly baked all natural bagel of your choice, served hot in 3 minutes or less. for less than $1.00”

Now you want to promote your coffee and espresso sales. Add this banner in your store.

“Turn in any used Star Bucks coffee cup, and get a free espresso”

And then, there is the simple premise that different gets noticed, and noticed is what you want to be.

Different: ” Our employees wear Pajamas on Tuesdays because…Tuesdays are PJ mornings at Mike’s Bagels.  Wear your pajamas and your bagel and Coffee is free!

How does this have any thing to do with Social Media?  Well, you just found what you can be promoting on your face book, Web Site and twitter properties.

Your people are the people that drive past your shop every morning and stop somewhere for coffee or breakfast.  The same cars going through the Starbucks or McDonald drive thru, could be in your store. Target your promotions to the zip codes that use the streets that go close to your Bagel Shop.  Send a coupon or welcome postcard to the zip codes that are clearly moving past your store on the way to work/school/ where ever, each morning. Don’t send to zips or area’s past your store in the main direction of traffic (Unless you are promoting Dinner).  On the postcard or letter, have your Face Book address,  and they can get their free stuff and see your current cool promotions there.

How does all this tie into SEO?  Simple, the more social followers you have, and tweats about your site, the more your sites rankings will improve.  Not only that, but if your Pajama Tuesdays takes off, people will start searching for Pajama Tuesdays and your site (which mentions it of course) will come up very highly for the term.

So I have just defined the basics of my social media strategy for Mike’s Bagels.   Start with the P.R.  and the rest will follow.

We would love to hear what great “Promotional” idea’s you have seen on social media for local businesses.


Enhanced by Zemanta