February 17, 2013

Appreciation Marketing – Why No Referrals?

In the past we have discussed the ways that we can build our businesses through the referrals of our partners, whether they are clients or not. These referrals are the result of our relationships that we have with these partners and how they view us, our business practices, and our performance in the world around us. How can we stop this referral flow that breathes life into our businesses? How do we literally commit business suicide?

Our current clients are the best sources of referrals for new business for us. Current clients should be happy and satisfied and believe that we are the best source of whatever it is that we furnish to our clients. We must provide a quality product or service for a reasonable price, through an appealing, enjoyable buying process. If our current clients are not happy about the buying process, our product or service, and the price that they paid, we have some work to do in these areas immediately, in order to obtain referrals from these unhappy clients.

After the buying process, do we forget about our clients and ignore them? Some business owners believe that once they have sold whatever they offer they do not need to pay any attention to that customer. Why should they do more; the customer has their purchase, and their check cleared the bank? This attitude would be shortsighted and ignorant on our part. If our clients believe that they are taken for granted they will take us for granted not offering referrals of other business partners.

When we are out of sight of our clients, we are out of their minds. We need to make sure that our clients remember us, remember our names, and know that we know theirs. If we do not know the names of our clients, and they cannot remember ours, we will never receive referrals from these clients. Clients must be reminded of who we are, what we offer, and how we treat everyone. Then, those referring clients will know that we will offer that same experience to others and that those new clients will be equally happy with the process.

Our current clients should be a great source of free, unbiased advertising for our businesses. If they are happy with the buying experience that they had, they will be glad to send us more and more of their acquaintances to us to receive that same experience. If they forget who we are, and we let them forget, we will not receive referrals. We must constantly “touch” our clients, reminding them that we care about them. Appreciation Marketing shows our clients that we actually appreciate their business, that we care about their existence and current state of life, and that we serve our clients’ needs, no matter what they may be.

Appreciation of our clients is so much stronger, and rewarding, than our telling everyone how great we are. Instead, we should tell our clients how great they are, how much we appreciate them and their business, and how much their lives mean to everyone else. Congratulate them on the events in their lives, their accomplishments, and their actions toward others. Celebrate the anniversary of their continued business, their contributions to the world in general. Don’t offer them a new, more expensive upgrade; give them a pat on the back.

How do you use positive praise in your business? Do your clients believe that you care about them after the sale, or do you remind then how much they mean to you? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 with your practices. There are lots of ways to kill the flow of referrals to us. Realizing the adverse result of some of our practices allows us to alter those practices and change the future of our success. It’s up to you what you do.

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