February 12, 2012

Appreciation Marketing – Would You Refer Business to You?

We have discussed how you can gain more referrals for your business, even making it based mostly on those referrals.  Then, you can stop cold calling people who do not know who you are or what you do or why they should speak with you.  You can add clients from the referrals of your known clients, prospects, friends, and family.  You can base your client search on the referrals of known and “happy” clients.

Based on what you know about yourself, you should ask the question: “Would you refer business to you?”  First, let’s examine how you do business.  Do you place the needs of the prospect before what you want to sell to them?  Do you ask them about themselves and their business, and do you listen to what they say to you?  Do you watch what they do and how they act towards others?  Do you examine their habits and their actions?

Second, do you apply the same questions and examination to yourself and what you do?  Have you listened to the greeting on your voice mail lately?  Does it identify you, and your business, clearly and concisely?  Is it even up to date?  Does it sound positive and welcoming?  Would you leave a message if you were greeted by it?  Perhaps have someone listen who has never heard it and tell you how they react to it.

If you are busy with an appointment or meeting, let your voice mail answer callers.  That is why it is there.  Show your appointment that you value their time by turning off your cell phone and letting all your calls go to voice mail.  Then after your meeting, return those calls promptly.  One of the better tag lines that I have heard is: “I answer my phone or return all voice messages or emails as soon as possible.”  This is simple and very powerful.

Do you return voice mails promptly and intelligently; do you listen to voice mails before you return the call?  There are people who never return calls, even when you have been referred to them and you leave a voice mail message letting them know why you are calling.  These are not people that refer to others since I do not believe that they value referrals.  Don’t hide behind your voice mail; use it to answer your calls when you are busy with others and then return those calls, armed with the information from the message that was left.

We all need to look at ourselves and examine what we find in ourselves.  We need to “see” how we appear to others.  If they have the wrong impression of us, maybe that is our fault; maybe it is how we “show” ourselves to others.  We just need to examine ourselves, and how we live our business and personal lives, and see how we appear to others.  Think outside the box in which you live and work.  Maybe you will like what you see; maybe you won’t.

If you don’t believe that you can be objective about your life, how you live it, and how you do business, perhaps you should regularly ask your networking partners for their thoughts.  None of us is perfect, and all of us have something that should improve.  Our partners have a vested interest in helping us be to better; they should be willing to be honest with us and help us improve.  The first step is to ask for their help.

So what do you think about this?  Do you believe that your business actions are perfect and can’t be improved?  Have you taken a good look at yourself and how you treat the others in your life?  Please let me have your comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 so we can share with others.  Karma should rule our lives, and we should strive to be professional, passionate, and personal in our dealings with others.

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