by Tony Vidler
Referrals remain the most powerful marketing for professionals despite the plethora of advertising and marketing tactics we have available today. The “transfer of trust” which is created by positive endorsement and personalised introduction or recommendation results in he highest likelihood of a prospective client choosing to do business with you.
Referrals are gold and we all know that, yet it seems so hard for so many professionals to create consistent and constant referral business. Why? The short answer is “we don’t talk about it enough”.
To create awareness we need to use repetition. That is constant and consistent positioning and messaging creates awareness.
The issue usually is not that our clients do not want to refer, or are reluctant to. It is simply that they do not think of it. They do not think of it because they are busy people so this is not exactly “top of mind”, and that is compounded by clients seeing us as busy people who have more than enough on our plates. When we reinforce that perception by being ad hoc and casual in our positioning and messaging around word-of-mouth marketing, it becomes even less significant to the average client. If we are casual and intermittent in something then it makes sense that the clients will be too, doesn’t it?
Creating ongoing awareness through ongoing conversation is what creates the awareness. That does not mean “constantly begging for a name and phone number” though, as that is crude and awkward for clients, and it is embarrassing for most professionals too if we are honest.
What we do need to do is:
This has to be embedded in our client communication processes. It needs to be a part of our regular service correspondence. It needs to be part of our marketing, wherever and however we do marketing. It needs to be a part of our advice process in any given client engagement. It needs to be a part of our culture…all of our people inside the business need to be aware of and carrying the message if we want our clients to become aware.
Repetition creates top-of-mind-awareness, and it is that awareness which creates a level of alertness in our clients minds which leads to constant positive introductions to prospective new clients.
Repetition is the missing element for practitioners who only receive referrals and recommendations on an ad hoc basis.
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