Turning to your current and/or past clients for their referral business is not only a smart and practical way to build your business, it’s EASY! We all know it costs more to obtain new clients than to maintain current or past clients. Make a commitment to keep in touch with them often – tell them what’s happening with your business and ASK for their help. People love to be needed!
1. Look at your clients not as a one-time sale, but as a budding friendship.
Friends help friends. Share your stories with each other – develop those important relationships.
2. Ask for them!
I know, that’s an obvious statement, but so many people are afraid to simply ask. Why not try this ? Contact one of your clients/customers today and simply ask – “Of all the people in your office (or of all of your closest friends) which person do you think would be the most interested in the product/service I offer?” What’s the worst that can happen – you certainly cannot be killed for asking!
3. Begin at the beginning.
Instead of waiting later in a client/customer relationship to ASK for referral support….(which for some can be uncomfortable) begin TELLING your prospects/new clients at the very beginning that receiving referral support from your clients is HOW you do business. Always tell your prospects what they can expect from you during your relationship, and in turn, what you will expect from them.
4. Practice makes perfect!
The more you do, the better you become at what you do or know, the more confident you naturally come off to others. Creating more confidence for THEM to easily refer you to the people in their life as “The only ONE to go to.”
5. Shift the burden.
Many business owners are afraid that asking for referrals from their customers/clients puts an unwanted burden on them. (They feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for ‘help.’) So, shift your belief or understanding. When you ask your clients to refer their friends or colleagues to you, YOU (once again) are HELPING MORE PEOPLE. (The burden stays on you and off of them!) People LOVE to help others (generally) so why not make them feel special, and ASK for their help?
6. Create an exclusive experience!
Create an experience for your customers/clients that feels (and is) exclusively just for them. How you do business should definitely stand out (and apart) from your competition. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Keep it simple – yet clearly beneficial to your clients/customers.
7. Clearly express yourself!
Let your clients know ALL that you do. Most will think the only thing you do or offer is what they get from you. Explain through stories, examples, and other offers the FULL RANGE of what you are able to offer. Don’t drown them in details, it’s better to explain all the products and services you offer, one at a time.
8. Think Long-Term Relationship – not just WIIFM!
Let your clients/customers know you are interested in serving them for the long haul. Sometimes it won’t occur to a client/customer to return to you for your product or service. Let them know you would like to serve them as long as they need the product or service you are exchanging with them.
9 . K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Specific
People love easy and simple (isn’t that why you are reading this top ten?). Whatever your product or service, make the experience of working with you as easy and simple for your customer/client as possible. Be specific in what you are offering or in what you are looking for!
10. Tell your clients just how important their referral support is to your success.
People love to know when they are doing good and when they have been a key player in something successful. Be sure to thank them, thank them often, keep in touch with them, find out what’s important to them and to their business and see if you can offer a solution to them!
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Expert/Coach. She’s the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 10,800 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on FaceBook and more than 5,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her individual and group coaching, she helps others learn to do what she did, saving them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116 and follow her blog http://www.carolconnectspeople.com
Meditation is a remarkably effective tool for Daily Mastery. The full mental rest it gives your brain increases its productivity, while the deep breathing associated with meditation increases alertness. Furthermore, meditation reduces stress, promotes calm and reduces negative self-talk, all of which make for a happier, as well as more productive, person.
That’s why I recommend meditation in a form or another to all of my clients.
However, meditation in its classical (i.e. Eastern) form is demanding, and not always easy for people in the Western world to achieve. Some of my clients, for instance, strongly object to sitting and “doing nothing” for any extended period of time. For those, I recommend walking meditation, i.e. a form of meditation where you walk slowly, focusing on every step you make and the sensations of your body in movement.
For everyone who is willing to sit for at least 10 minutes, but has no experience of meditation, I recommend Getting in the Gap, by Wayne Dyer.
I found this method the easiest to understand and to get results from for a beginner. Also, it includes a 10-minute and a 20-minute audio guided meditation, which makes it even easier to do. I’ve put those two meditations on my iPhone, and listen to them whenever I need a boost, or whenever I’m on the bus between Manhattan and my home.
I used to be a book packrat. I didn’t care about keeping a lot of stuff in general, but I loved books. So I would buy books, read them, and then store them in my bookcases. They were lovingly organized by type (fiction, non-fiction, comics, etc.) and by alphabetical order. Every book was displayed, well-placed, and easy to find – and ended up spanning five large Ikea bookcases. It was wonderful! I could sit down and just lose myself in those books.
But then I decided to move to the US. The problem was that shipping items oversea, even by boat and slowly, is quite expensive, and my budget was limited. I had to let go of my collection of books. It was heart-wrenching, but it had to be done.
I ended up moving with only a few of my absolute favorite books to a teeny tiny room in Boston. It was so small that there was no room to accumulate books again, so I became a faithful patron of the Boston public library. And I discovered something interesting.
I had already learned when I had had to purge my collection for my transatlantic move that most of the books I had accumulated were books that I had no intention of ever reading again. My collection was a vivid illustration of the statistics that says that 80% of the paper we store will never be touched again. There were only a small minority of books I really wanted to keep.
Once in Boston, I learned another important lesson: it wasn’t necessary for me to have all those books around me. I could live quite well – actually better – with only the books I used regularly and the ones I loved enough to want to re-read them several times. I had stumbled upon love-based de-cluttering.
Since then, I have bought only books I use on a regular basis and books I know I’ll enjoy reading several times. I usually first borrow, then decide if it’s worth taking space in my home. If I buy a book right away and, after reading it, know I won’t read or use it again, the local library is its next home. As a result, my bookcases only have books I love and enjoy. Does your bookcase make you smile when you look at it?
If you haven’t already done so after my article two weeks ago, get Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui and give love-based decluttering a try, starting with your books – or anything you want. You’ll be amazed how much impact it has: My clients and I have found that we are happier, more focused, more relaxed, and more productive in environments where we are surrounded by things we love and use – and only those things we love and use.
Yes, the right hangers…
I saw many times the commercials for the ultra-thin, grip hangers. To be honest with you, I was a tad skeptical, but when I saw an opportunity to buy just a few, I decided to test them.
They actually live up to the infomercial hype!
Tops really do stay put. The hangers, while feeling more flexible than normal hangers, can hold quite a bit of weight. So far, they’ve been able to handle the weight of even my heaviest coat. On purpose, I bought black hangers, and used them to dry some tops right out of the washing machine: the clothes came out pristine, no color transference, and without the all-too-common hanger-created bulges. Those slim hangers also live up to the space claims: The clothes I’ve hung this way take half the space they used to take in my closet (and I have thin hangers to begin with). They also make it easier for me to see and find my clothes. I’m so happy with them after a month of use that I’m planning on replacing my remaining old-fashioned hangers with more ultra-thin ones. Give them a try, you’ll be quite delighted.
Full disclosure: I am usually compensated when you buy a product I recommend – and all the products I recommend have been studied, read, tested and/or used by me to make sure that they are a truly a product that will be of value to you.
As you know if you follow me on Facebook, I have a cat, and have no plans on having a dog any time soon. However, I do like dogs, and I know many people who own dogs.
So for the dog-lovers among you, go check Bailey and Me, a site offering accessories for dogs. Check it out, it’s shock-full of cute things, and you are bound to find something fun for your pet – or as a gift for the dog-lovers around you.