Let's Talk Referrals
By Steve Black
I'll be sharing hints, tips and resources here and in the Let's Talk Referrals™ Community to help you get more customers and grow your business.
Let's Talk ReferralsNov 29, 2023
Long Term Strategies for Building Your Business
Running your own small business is a complicated balancing act. You need to market your business, attract and nurture new clients, and create a name for yourself, all while doing the actual work your clients give you.
There's a common mistake that's often made by small business owners, and I was guilty of this. When we get busy, we'll often stop looking for new business. After all, how can we start working with a new client when we're already swamped with work?
But searching for new prospects and customers is something you should be doing continually, even when you have enough work.
Finding new clients is a constant struggle but an important one. It's something you should do on an ongoing basis, even when you're busy.
In this episode, I'll be sharing a few ways to find more customers or clients for your business both online and off.
Establishing Rapport for Quicker Relationship Building
Let’s talk about rapport. I’m sure you’ve heard about establishing rapport, but you may not have a clear understanding of what it is and why it’s important. We’ll start there and then spend the rest of this short report going over how to establish rapport and use it to create friendships and good working relationships. Once you’ve established rapport, it becomes easier to build a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s why it’s important to establish rapport in the first place. It gives you that instant connection that makes both of you feel like you’ve known each other for much longer than you have. This, in turn, creates trust and allows you to move on with whatever it is the two of you need to get done.
Get More Positivity in Your Life
What do you want most? What do you feel is holding you back? Do you desire more happiness in your life? How about success? Would you like to be able to achieve your goals and see your dreams come true? How about abundance? Would you like to get more of the good things that life offers and that make living worthwhile? How about more referrals for your business? If your answer to any of these questions is yes (and especially the last one), then your next step is simple – you need to begin removing negativity from your life.
The Follow Up - Get even more referrals from your network
Building a network is a key component of success for many small businesses today. Whether you need more customers or want to increase visibility in the marketplace, having a reliable referral network can give any small business owner access to an almost endless pool of potential new customers.
On this week's episode of the Let's Talk Referrals podcast, I'll be talking about the one rule to rule them all when building your business by referrals. Which will help you leverage a powerful referral network that will lead to long term success. I'm talking about the follow up.
Referrals can be one of the most powerful marketing tools for any small business owner and it can be critical for professions such as realtors, insurance agents and financial advisors. Let's face it, you guys have way too much competition to get this part wrong.
When the follow up is done well, it will help you get more referrals which will grow your customer base and help you build a strong business, even when the economy is not in your favor.
Let's Talk About Customer Service
How many of you think that good customer service will result in more referrals for your business?
It’s a valid question. I hear a lot of companies say they have great customer service and it’s one of the reasons we should be using them. Some businesses brag about it in their TV ads. How they always put the customer first. Or our customers are why we do what we do. etc, etc.
Why do they do that? Do they need to tell people they have good customer service because they’re trying to justify why they charge more or to cover up for other failings? Is it because they can’t think of another reason for us to do business with them? Or maybe, and I think this is probably the case, to try to look better than the competition by implying they don’t.
Companies are focusing more and more on customer service. The spend a great deal of time, money, and effort on resources to improve their customer service so they can keep the customers they have, especially with the competition out there, and to try and get new customers that are unhappy with whomever they’re currently using.
Let’s face it, it’s ridiculous. Are you telling me that for years, decades or even centuries, that offering good customer service was something companies tried to avoid?
No one goes out there to provide terrible customer service, though I do think Monty Python could have made a great sketch about a business that offers it. The Dead Parrot comes close though.
How would you like to leave a room and people start talking about you in a way that is not only flattering but where they wished you hadn’t left? That is how to be unforgettable in a positive way. It’s not as difficult as you think, either. It does take a bit of practice and maybe even a bit of refocusing on your core beliefs.
If everyone's out there networking, what makes you stand out from everyone else?
If it's Not Working, Keep Going
I like the word “steadfastness”. It’s such an old-fashioned word and if you think about it, the whole concept of perseverance seems a bit ancient and outdated in our fast paced world. Yet, then and today it seems to be the real secret to success. Here’s what one of the most successful business men of the age had to say about it:
I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.
John D. Rockefeller
So, don't quit networking. Persevere!
Try to Avoid Those Bad First Impressions
First impressions are an important part of networking and building long-term business relationships. Making a good first impression helps smooth the way and makes sure you're on the right foot going forward.
But what happens when we make a bad first impression and what can we do to correct it?
Let me know what first impressions you make and why.
Public Speaking Isn't Easy - But You Can Do It
The good news about public speaking is that although it may not be on the top of the list of our favorite activities, anyone can learn to give effective presentations. You don’t have to look like a Hollywood star, and you don’t have to use fancy words to be a successful speaker.
What is important is that the audience understands you and remembers what you have to say. By learning and using different techniques, you will discover how to create engaging speeches and present them using your own delivery style.
Why Do You Do What You Do?
Do you jump out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day and get to work? Or are you lying in bed after the alarm goes off, dreading to have to face another day, another trip to the office were you spend 8 hours plus doing what you have to do just so you can pay your bills?
That reminds me of a joke I heard quite some time ago…
Early one morning a mother went to wake up her son.
"Wake up, son.
It's time to go to school!"
"Buy why, Mom? I don't want to go."
"Give me two reasons why you don't want to go."
"Well, the kids hate me for one, and the teachers hate me, too!"
"Oh, that's no reason not to go to school. Come on now and get ready."
"Give me two reasons why I *should* go to school."
"Well, for one, you're 52 years old. And for another, you're the PRINCIPAL!"
And what’s the moral of this story? If you don’t like what you do for a living, the chances are you’ll end up 52 years old and still living at home with Mommy. Okay, maybe that’s not the real moral of the story, but if you wake up with dread in the morning because you don’t like what you do for a job or for a living, you need to take a look at closer look at what you do.
I Was Really Nervous When I First Started Networking
When are you going to get started? When are you going to take action and not put off what you need to be doing to realize your dreams.
Hi everyone, my name’s Steve Black, founder of Let’s Talk Referrals and in this podcast, I’m going to share a story about my first and second, third and plenty of other networking event plus some tips to help you feel less nervous when you’re networking.
It’s so easy to say I’ll start networking tomorrow. I need to do busy work first to make sure I’m perfectly ready to network. I need to shower, shave, finish this report, feed the dogs, cats, birds, mice. I need to mow the yard. Clean the car. Paint the outside of the house.
I need to practice my elevator pitch or introduction more. And try and commit to memory those 15 questions to ask so I don’t look or sound silly.
Who’s going? Should I go business or business casual. Should I take brochures as well as business cards? What about my branded pens? Are my business cards better in my left or right pocket? I need a back up pen in case my first runs out of ink. Mints, I need mints. I’ve found Altoids work the best when networking. Well, at least no one complained about bad breath when talking with me. Quick plug there. I wonder if they’ll send me a tin for free.
Create a Community of Raving Fans
Welcome to Episode 4 of the Let’s Talk Referrals podcast and Today I’m going to be talking about creating a community of raving fans.
Every business should have a place where your customers and prospects can engage with you.
The more digital we become; the more customers expect to have even more interaction with the businesses they love. Think about that two-way communication as an opportunity to expand by understanding what your customers want and what you have that helps them. This communication can build lasting relationships and a loyal customer base. People need to feel that they are an active part of the companies they follow.
You have great products, and you provide great customer service. So, how do you turn your audience into a vibrant, engaged community that talks about you with everyone they know. Spreading that word-of-mouth marketing and recommending your business.
Get the Best Referrals by Identifying Your Ideal Referral
Hi everyone, this is Steve Black and welcome to episode 5 of the Let’s Talk Referrals Podcast. This week I’m going to be talking about your ideal referral.
One of the most important things you need to do to get the right referrals for your business is to create an ideal referral profile. It’s impossible to teach your referral partners and customers who is a good referral for you if you can’t articulate yourself.
Your ideal referral profile is a hypothetical description of the one individual or business that would most enjoy, value and want to use your products or services. This profile incorporates demographics, preferences, challenges, behavioral traits, and much more.
Why do you need to create an ideal referral profile?
It allows you to:
- Develop a referral marketing strategy that speaks to your customers and connections and helps them think of people to refer to you.
- It makes sure you get more referrals that are a good fit so you don’t waste time and energy on people or businesses that won’t buy and use your products.
- It creates a process by which you can teach new referral partners and customers who you should be referred to and why.
You probably already have an idea of who your ideal referral is, but assumptions aren’t enough. An written down profile works because you compile objective data from the market to create it. This takes some effort, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
In this podcast, I’m going to outline the 5 key steps to creating an ideal referral profile that will deliver results for your business and, if you stay to the end, I’m sharing details about a free virtual masterclass I’m hosting early next month that goes into a lot more detail on creating your ideal referral profile.
Are You Really Listening?
Today I’m going to be talking about how listening will be able to help you get more referrals and build some great business relationships to get you more referrals.
And no, I’m not talking about listening to this podcast though I do believe it will help you get more referrals, I’m talking about listening to people you network with, your customers, connections, and your family friends. In fact, anyone that could send you a referral.
It’s been said that we are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. In other words, we are influenced by the personal qualities and attitudes of those who are closest to us. In some sense, we reflect their personalities and this is so important when it comes to networking and in networking, we need to surround ourselves with positive and supportive people so we can all benefit from strong, long-lasting relationships.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Networking and Why You Need Both
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve probably heard how referrals can help you grow your business. Today, I’m going to give a brief outline on the two different strategies for getting referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing and Networking. Both overlap with each other, but each have their own process and strategies you can be used to generate referrals.
Welcome to the Let's Talk Referrals Community Podcast
A short introduction and why I'm starting this podcast.