Do you know who our best customers are?
That is a ridiculous question, I know! Because you are reading this article and can’t actually answer. But that’s okay because I don’t like being interrupted!
Most businesses best customers share these attributes:
- very cheap or free to attract
- keep coming back to buy
- recommend you to other people
- are profitable.
Sure, that’s not the case for everyone, but it is for many businesses.
This article is about how to attract customers who are just like the ones you have now.
You’ve probably heard the old cliché that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It’s a cliché because, like most clichés, it’s 100% correct.
Word of mouth referrals are fantastic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is this:
When someone tells someone else about your business there is an implied endorsement of your business.
Because people mostly tell friends, relatives or work colleagues about other businesses, it follows then that the word of mouth referral is coming from a respected and liked source who has credibility with that person.
Which means this new customer already has some trust of your business – and because perceived risk is a major choice influencer when anybody buys anything (this is why the brands are so powerful – they have the trust of the marketplace) you are far more likely to make the sale.
And customers who are referred to you this way are far, far more likely to buy than just about anyone else.
So word of mouth really is a wonderful way to get new business.
Word of mouth is one of the most poorly marketed forms of business marketing. It’s one of the best ways to attract new and great customers. But it’s one of the worst marketed areas.
This is what we all need to do
We need to encourage word of mouth referrals as much as we possibly can. It’s so easy to do. Here are 2 very simple ideas:
1. Reward those people who refer you business. Anyone who refers us business gets a small gift. It might be a bottle of wine, tickets to a show, a game of golf. Whatever.
I’ve had some people tell me that giving a gift to someone who has referred us a client could seen as wrong.
What a load of rubbish! If someone is nice enough to refer a friend to me I am going to say, “Thanks.”
This person is putting food on our table, a roof over our head, supporting jobs for the team, and helping us to grow our business.
It’s a hard, tough world out there in business and as businesspeople we should appreciate help from others. We should reward those who assist us.
My mum taught me to say “Thank you” whenever someone helps you in some way. I think it would be very rude if we didn’t at least say “Thank you.” And my mum would be angry if I forgot my manners!
2. Ask people to refer their friends. This could be:
- as simple as ringing up clients and asking them to refer others
- it might mean a ‘Bring a Friend for free’ voucher to encourage a trial
- maybe offering an incentive for each person referred.
I want this to be a short and sharp article.
Referred clients can be your best clients by a country mile. Do everything you possibly can to encourage your current clients referring your business to others. Do it now! (And don’t forget to thank clients who refer you others. Or I’ll get my mum onto you.)