We have all seen movies where someone who is looking for a deal on anything hears someone else say “I know a guy.” Usually the person who utters this phrase is a relative or a close friend of one. It might involve jewelry, appliances, furniture, houses, cars, or whatever. The idea is that the person who speaks these words knows someone who can get us a deal on whatever we want, one where we will pay less than the going rate.
This may be a good deal financially or give us access to something that we cannot locate through normal channels. Perhaps it is an opportunity to purchase something through a discount club or warehouse; maybe it is a chance to take part in a large group purchase. Sometimes we can get something that we cannot obtain on the open market, or it gives us a chance to buy at the seller’s purchase price.
This is not to include something that is available because the product “fell off a truck” or was obtained illegally. This is a legitimate opportunity to obtain what we need or want at a discount from the normal open market price that regular business would require. It might involve leftover or returned merchandise, or open box, demo products, or it could involve excess, closed out models.
This is not an endorsement for a person who approaches us in a parking lot with stereo equipment or something for sale out of the trunk of a car. These items are very likely stolen or illegally obtained by the seller, who will never be available if the buyer discovers that they were deceived into buying something for a price that was “too good to be true”. If that is the deal, it is a problem, because quality has a reasonable price.
What does all this “I know a guy” stuff have to do with Gratitude Marketing? Business referrals are nothing more than another way to describe this practice. If we refer someone to another person for the purpose of establishing a business partnership or to obtain a product or service, we are saying that we know someone who the other person should know. They may become customers or just networking partners, but the “I know a guy” practice is a perfect example of Gratitude Marketing.
When we refer two or more people to each other, we put our reputation on the line; we are endorsing all parties to each other. It might be people who should be customers of each other, it may be someone who needs what the other is offering, or it could be people who can help each other with advice and support. Want to be known as a person with whom others want to network? Get to know others and refer them to other partners.
We must report what happens after the referral to the referring partner. That way the person who referred the two parties to each other knows if their referral was correct or appropriate for the persons introduced. They also know if their reputation is still good or has it been tarnished by one or the other of the referred partners. Just like follow up with a customer, following up after introductions results in better business success.
Gratitude Marketing can bring us business success as well as great customers and business partners. The practice can enhance our reputation or tarnish it, and following up when referring anyone is paramount to keeping everyone honest. Don’t let the “I know a guy, or gal” philosophy be reflective of a back alley sales gesture. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.