It’s difficult, rather almost impossible, to stay top of mind with your customers these days.
Your competition is nipping at your heels, your customers have your competition at their finger tips with technology.
So the question your asking yourself right now is…
How do I stay of mind?
Well I’m glad you asked…it’s imperative you…
#1. Stand out from your competition
#2 Stay top of mind
Most entrepreneurs spend countless hours exhausting time trying to find new leads thru…
It’s been said “It’s easier to keep a customer than to find a new one” and you need a “stay top of mind strategy” ASAP!
This is where Relationship Marketing comes in, and I’m not talking about email blasts.
Let’s face it emails work somewhat, but customers are tired of emails, especially advertising and marketing emails.
This week we feature Life Purpose Coach Matt Scherb from Oakville, Ontario.
He discusses how he implemented a stay top of mind strategy, using Relationship Marketing. By using this strategy he was able to generate the majority of his business through word of mouth referrals.”
Matt says “Inside of 30 days, I found that the referrals I was receiving by sending cards, basically sending a birthday card or a thank you card, tripled my referrals very rapidly.”
Click here to continue on to learn how to triple your word of mouth referrals…this could be the most valuable time spent on your business…
Instead of showing appreciation exclusively during the holidays, some businesses are building it into their day-to-day and reaping business benefits on account of it.
When Kristina Bouweiri started hosting customer appreciation lunches in 2009, she thought she was just helping a friend boost her lagging business.
Little did she know that the lunches, which have been held in posh restaurants around Washington, D.C. like The Palm and Capital Grille, would introduce her to almost 900 of her clients, giving her own business a jolt.
Bouweiri’s unexpected success is testament to the power of appreciation and gratitude in business.
“Instead of going after new business, we decided to go back to old clients and thank them, and develop relationships,” she says. For almost 20 years, her company Reston Limousine had done little or nothing to thank its almost 20,000 clients. Now, says Bouweiri, “I consider it the most important initiative that I have.”
As opposed to showing appreciation one day a year — at Thanksgiving or New Year’s or in an annual customer appreciation sale — some businesses are building it into their daily and weekly plans and policies. And they are seeing the benefits to this approach: Workers are often more engaged when they feel appreciated and customers are more likely to come back and give referrals.
“Gratitude motivates positive reciprocal behavior,” says Randy Raggio, a marketing professor at the University of Richmond. If a customer believes that a business has his best interests at heart, that customer is more inclined to develop a long-term relationship with the business.
Raggio first grew interested in gratitude in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when the state of Louisiana ran a thank-you-for donations campaign. Many people who saw the campaign were more likely to donate or volunteer in the future, according to his research, even those who had not previously participated in that particular campaign.
A business might show their appreciation by having private sales for their best customers, by offering a few chocolates with the bill, or simply by saying thanks for your business. It needs to be genuine and it’s better if it’s not open to all.
Customer appreciation, Raggio says, usually comes in the form referring a friend, writing a positive review online, or perhaps a willingness to pay more later on.
For years, Susan Whitcomb says she has made good use of gratitude at her Fresno, Calif.-based leadership coaching business, The Academies. This year, she decided she would write a list of “10 things I’m grateful about you” for each of her four staffers, which she says she’ll give to them just before Thanksgiving. One of the notes acknowledges a colleague’s “courage to stretch,” learn to make sales calls, manage others, and her “commitment to make me look good.”
While she admits that she cannot quantify how that has helped her businesses, Whitcomb says she knows it has helped during the recession’s slowest months.
Gratitude is an effective tool largely because “it is a precursor to develop trust,” says Betsy Bugg Holloway, a marketing professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Al. And trust itself is an extremely powerful driver for loyalty, no matter the type of relationship. Just the same, gratitude is only valuable when it comes across as genuine.
“It’s not meant to be any magical formula for wealth,” says John Kralik, author of A Simple Act of Gratitude. He started writing notes in 2008, as his life and law firm were both suffering. His firm was losing money and had lost its office lease. “I was very embarrassed that I couldn’t provide the Christmas bonuses that I had always provided to my employees,” he recalls.
So he wrote appreciation notes to his staff, and sent similar notes to clients who paid their bills on time. He wrote to his children, his friends, and to lawyers who sent a client his way. Kralik says one of the lawyers wrote back to him, saying that he had no idea Kralik would want a client like that. “If you like one, I have 10 more,” the lawyer wrote.
He sees the link between the thank-you notes and his business thriving again. “As you take care of the paying clients, they pay even faster. They value you,” he says. One client’s timely check allowed his firm to relocate and pay the new rent. Others brought him more business. “When you’re feeling especially crummy, it’s a good time to sit down and write about 10 thank-you notes,” Kralik says.
Heidi Kallett had been sending out thank-you notes, but she was looking for another way to keep her stationery and gifts stores, The Dandelion Patch, going. So she and her friend, the limousine company owner, came up with what they thought would be a one-time client appreciation lunch, and invited administrative assistants at the companies that used the limousine company.
The lunches work especially well because assistants are hardly invited to special meals but often watch their bosses head off to a fancy business lunch.
“We don’t sell anything. It’s very low key. We just stand up and introduce ourselves for two minutes,” says Kallett. Then they give away door prizes and swag bags.
Bouweiri came up with a dozen other local business owners who also would be interested in meeting her clients; these partners and others now sponsor the event – and serve as “ambassadors” for the limo company in their circles.
The appreciation lunches have paid off: Last year, revenues at the company increased by 27%, mostly as a result, she says, of the client appreciation lunches, which are held about 10 times a year. Even when she raised rates 10% and added a fuel surcharge in September 2009, “customers were not batting an eyelash. We’ve created long-term lasting relationships,” she says.
“I came up with this idea because I was trying to help Heidi — and I ended up helping myself.”
Get your LinkedIn SSI score, and learn how to be a better connector influencer.
LinkedIn previously had the SSI (Social Selling Index Score) as a feature that people only had access to only if they were paying.
Where do you rank?
Check HERE to calculate your score:
Click HERE to connect with me and build your network.
The Score Breakdown:
The Social Selling Index is broken down into 4 components:
1) Establish Your Professional Brand – Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought-leader by publishing meaningful posts.
2) Find the right People – Identify better prospects in
less time using efficient search and research tools.
3) Engage with Insights – Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.
4) Build Relationships – Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers.
Have a professional profile shot (doesn’t have to cost a lot or anything, but just you, and professional, decent background)
Your profile should show your accolades and the potential you’d bring to a prospective employer.
SSI is a score that measures how well each person utilizes proper social selling practices. You can measure your progress, as well as see the links between your social selling and your performance. It shows how well you have implemented best selling skills practices into your social media strategies on LinkedIn. Once your profile is complete, the more you connect with other decision makers, share great content, and connect with potential prospects, your SSI numbers will likely rise.
In essence, the more you are engaged with social relationship marketing and social selling, the better your results will be.
LinkedIn’s algorithms look at profile completeness when determining your score. Prospective clients many times will look at your score as well. Many times before people buy from you, do business with you, or even contact you or connect with you – they check you out on social media.
You must establish yourself as an expert in your field. It doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, always, but business does take some time and money! But you want to post educational and useable content that helps enrich your followers and guide them to why you are good at what you do, and why they should trust you and believe in what you do.
Posting your experiences and accomplishments is a great way to start. Posting useful and relevant updates, educational, spiritual (if you choose to incorporate this into your business), effective information will reinforce your professional brand. Your prospective clients will turn to you when they need assistance, and your SSI score will shoot up as well.
When you’re viewing people and looking for 2nd or 3rd-degree connections, the right kind will help you to create warm introductions with productive prospects and leads. Use the advanced search features on LinkedIn to give you even better results.
Always look at who has viewed your profile and make sure to engage with them, if appropriate.
Always look for specifically influencers and decision makers – you want to connect yourself with senior level executives—people who can make waves for you when the time comes. Connections with many people is always great, but those who have influence over many others, can help you in business even more.
Think of what interests you, share that, on your wall, in groups that are relevant to your interests…..as you do, many of your prospects and prospective clients that have those same interests, will see you more as an expert, and also help connect you even more with the right people on LinkedIn. Remember to be consistent and share good and educational material.
Building trust in relationship marketing is key to your success. You can enhance your relationship marketing in many ways, texting, phone calls, social media connecting and posting, in person, and sending to keep in touch through the real mail. This will in turn also help you in referrals….instead of asking for them, deserve them – show your connections why you deserve their referrals.
When it comes down to it – it is all about knowing the right people. Don’t just accept everyone that asks. Your SSI score looks at how you are connected with others as well, and how each of you relate to each other. It also looks at when others accept you or not, if you have a lower acceptance rate, your SSI may suffer.
It is also always best to reach out as much as possible. When someone sends me a request, I look at their profile before accepting, to see if I might think that they would be a good fit. I do not randomly accept everyone. Then I send them a message, asking them WHY they want to connect with me. The thing is – you want to add value, but you want others to add value to you as well. Don’t just merely think in the numbers of how many I can have, and how many possible sales that might be. You want the right people, and the right sales.
There is practically nothing worse for your business than constantly worrying about how to find that next person to whom you can present your product or service.
Yet that is typically the very thing that happens when you have no system for acquiring new prospects.
A business without a steady flow of Referrals always keeps you on the defensive, knowing that it’s up to you to come up with new people to talk to.
On the other hand, a business based on endless referrals fills you with peace of mind!
Having a system for acquiring endless referrals means going to sleep at night knowing you’ll have new business waiting for you the next day, and the next, and the next – for as long as you desire.
Bob Burg, in his book Endless Referrals says,
“Thank you cards are one of the most powerful tools in building a huge network, both professionally and socially.
People with the most impressive networks are typically avid card writers.
It’s one of the best techniques for long-term winning without intimidation. I suggest getting into the habit immediately of sending out cards.”
We all wish that we were better – I can help you with that!
www.SendOutCards.com/holiday – watch the video on the site, and then click to send a card free, and contact me with the questions you have.
My sales stats for May:
Are you monitoring your sales stats?
Do you know where your customers are coming from?
Are you getting repeat customers?
If you’re not tracking, how do you know?
I can show you how to effectively get repeat sales and referrals from clients and customers and retain n keep those customers n clients that you worked so hard to get.
I have done this for 23 years in my web n graphic design business, and I’ve been teaching, coaching n training others to do it in their business for 13 years with amazing results.
Picture me holding up a five dollar bill….
“How would you spend this $5?”
(Some people may say: Subway, Starbucks, etc)
If you are in business, how ’bout this –
How hard did you WORK to GET those CLIENTS –
what are you doing to KEEP them????
one card – “Thank you for the referral”
second card – “Happy Birthday”,
next card – “Sorry for your loss”,
next card – “I appreciate your business”,
last card – “Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays”
“For a few dollars per customer per year, we cultivate and build relationships and your customers will know they are valued and appreciated.”
If you want to be good, do your job – like they tell you – like everyone else….
If you want to SUCCEED – do your job BETTER than they told you – BETTER than everybody else…..
Eventually your INCOME will surpass EVERYBODY else……
So many people SAY they want more money – I mean – who doesn’t???
But the thing is, what are you doing to GET MORE than everybody else? Like the saying goes – “if you keep doing, what you have always been doing, then you will keep getting what you have always been getting.”
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
You do not have to be bold, daring, arrogant, proud…. team task management software.You can be successful – and still be truthful, honest, professional, humble….etc. Many people throughout life, I have heard think that people that “have it made” are very arrogant or rude…(and yes, I do beleive SOME are) but I beleive MOST are not. There IS a difference in being self-confident and egotistical.
You could own your own business, or you could work at a job somewhere – but in either case, you should go above and beyond all measures of what is expected of you. People who become millionaires, did not become millionaires because they sat around doing nothing – they became millionaires, because they wanted to live a different lifestyle, they did not want to “be like everybody else”
I am sure we have all mostly had a job where we knew someone at that job – that did what they were supposed to do, and even did it well. But that is ALL they did – JUST what they were asked. Which, in a way, is fine, I mean – they will keep their job, probably, and they will earn their salary. But – what about the ones that do that same exact job….but go ABOVE AND BEYOND what the boss asked them to – even though they would not get paid any different. Who do you think that boss is going to look towards, when they decide to promote someone?
Same thing in owning your own business:
If you are a carpet cleaner, and you clean carpets VERY well. That is great. But if say you are not available when I need it the next time, so I get someone else….and they do VERY well also – BUT they go ABOVE AND BEYOND what I asked and do a better cleaning, or a little extra spot – or extra time on a stain I did not even mention, or….who do you think I am going to call on next time?
If you are a car salesman, and you sell cars VERY well. That is great. But if say you are not available when I need to buy the next time, so I get someone else….and they do VERY well also – BUT they go ABOVE AND BEYOND what I asked and do a little extra, add a few perks, send out card to me after the sale to keep in touch with me, send out newsletters to me of neat ideas and events I might be interested in, call me every 6 months to just check in, or….who do you think I am going to call on next time?
If you are an insurance agent, and you sell your policy VERY well. That is great. But if you only send me a bill once every 6 months or a year, but I never hear from you any other time, or you might even send me a cheese *blanket* birthday card once a year….What do you think is going to happen when someone else starts approaching me to get my business…do you think I will take a look at what they are offering and compare it?
Do you think I would if you sent out a card every month or even every few months – just to keep in touch……or even had some sort of contact in between the yearly bills?
The thing is – anyone can do a JOB – it takes a GREAT person – to do a GREAT job – and stand out above the crowd. “People will do business, with people they know, like, and trust”. You might get a client once, on a “by chance” ad through the paper or something like that – but will they STAY with you?
The secret to KEEPING your clients – and getting your clients to give you ENDLESS REFERRALS without even asking – is to keep in touch with them, and be BETTER than everybody else – that is providing the same service that you do.