Have you ever considered that prospective clients who are referred to you are much more likely to hire you than those who come to you in any other way? The endorsement of a referral carries so much weight that referred prospects ask fewer questions about your qualifications, are less likely to shop for the lowest price, and typically make their buying decisions much more quickly. In fact, they are often pre-sold when they contact you.
With the value of referred prospects being so high, it makes sense for generating more referrals to be an essential component of your marketing. But many professionals limit their ability to gain referrals by concentrating all their efforts on current and past clients.
“But how do I get them to trust me if they don’t know me?” my client asked.
“Exactly,” I replied. “They have to get to know you in order to trust you. Either that, or they need to be referred to you by someone they know and trust already.”
Client: “So, you’re telling me that making cold calls and running ads are a waste of time and money?”
Me: “Yes. Unless you use those tactics to open the door to your prospective clients getting to know and trust you. If you expect to move from a call or an ad to a quick sale, you’ll be disappointed.”
You’ll often hear me say that the secret to finding clients is to make effective choices about what to do to market your business, then do those things over and over. While that advice is absolutely true, implementing it sometimes runs into some roadblocks.
What happens when you deliver what you think is a dynamite 10-second introduction, but your prospective clients don’t seem impressed? Or you have several lunches with potential referral partners that seem to go well, but no business results from them?
As a business owner, it’s natural to have lots of ideas about getting the word out about your offerings and to want to test out new ways. You’ve tried different marketing techniques, some of which you liked more, some that worked better, and some you’re convinced will work eventually. The question is, what’s really working, and how long should you test something to know?
Testing requires two things: curiosity and measuring. Curiosity to try something new, and measuring so you’ll know how well it’s working and whether it’s worth continuing to do. Here are several things to keep in mind when you’re testing different marketing strategies:
I was talking with a client recently about putting herself out there more, marketing-wise, and she mentioned how that made her uncomfortable and that she’s shy and introverted. That got me thinking about how often the traits of “shy” and “introverted” (vs. “outgoing” and “extroverted”) are perceived to be the same thing, when in fact, they’re not. You can be shy, yet outgoing, or vice versa. I know an extrovert who has a hard time initiating a conversation, and I’m an introvert who easily talks to strangers. How you approach marketing can be influenced by this perception, so it makes sense to take a closer look at how you operate.
Introvert vs. extrovert
The distinction between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge their energy.
I frequently tell my clients and students that the real secret to getting clients is choosing a set of simple, effective marketing activities, and engaging in them consistently. “Okay,” folks often reply, “but how do I know that I’ve chosen the right marketing activities?” Here’s what you need to explore.
What Kind of Marketing Is Best?
The best marketing methods — the ones that really belong on your list of things to do every day or every week — are the ones that put you into direct contact with your target market. You speak with prospective clients in person, you talk to them on the phone, you write personal, not mass produced, letters or emails. You network; you build referral relationships; you speak in public.