Most successful small business owners are quick to admit networking referrals are the most important part of advertising their firm. No matter what! Even in the Covid-19 era.
They know the average dissatisfied customer tells over eleven people (which is bad advertising)! And they go to extra efforts to stop that from happening!
Yet the average satisfied customer tells only three people, according to American Management Association research into consumer behavior.
Here's How To Cultivate Your Referrals
So cultivating profitable recommendations should be your primary goal in advertising and marketing your small business.
Plan to do this both off-line and on-line.
For instance, Facebook is a social media. Have you ever seen someone ask for recommendations on-line from their friends?
And the same recommendations are freely given when friendship is developed through your own networking process.
So you need to build a customer referral strategy. Whatever system you make should be simple and easy to use. And it shouldn't cost you a lot of money, either.
In fact, this is probably the most inexpensive and lucrative method of advertising you'll find.
You are the one who has to build your own system and make it pro-active.
Others may be the ones speaking up for you, but it's your job to give them the ammunition.
Make it easy and natural for them to be your spokespeople.
Check our articles about advertising yourself to friends and building your own business networking referral system.
And here is a perfect example of how business networking and newspaper ads worked together to increase sales.
By definition, there is always a "buzz" created by any business among its clients, friends and even those who aren't.
It is your job to try to make sure the slant is positive.
Small businesspeople have to earn endorsements from their customers or clients.
And unlike paid advertising, the business has practically no control over what each individual says when expressing their own word-of-mouth marketing opinions to others.
The best control you do have is to give the greatest possible service up front (in their eyes), make real sure your customers are happy and would recommend you to others.
A cardinal rule of salesmanship states that people like to do business with people who are like themselves. Socially, people like to be with people like themselves. This principle can be applied to most any grouping of people from hobbyists to fraternal orders. Use your imagination.
So it follows that if you can keep one member of a group happy, they'll tell the others in their group when they have an exceptional experience from your business or when someone asks for the service or product that your business offers.
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