“How do you get the majority of your business?” The answer to that question for 99% of the people I meet is: “Word of mouth” or “Referrals”
Well that’s great. You may well be getting most of your business via word of mouth and referrals. But that’s not really the critical question.
The question is – Are you getting the volume of business that you actually NEED in order to afford to buy your cat that expensive food it loves, the volume of business you need to pay for your next car service or perhaps even pay for your next mortgage payment.
Here is the truth about the statement “I get most of my business from referrals” – It’s just an EGO BOOST. You know it’s true. It makes you feel good that people recommend you. Don’t get me wrong, it IS good that people recommend you, but EGO BOOSTS don’t pay the bills.
Do you have an army of people actually promoting your product or service for you, at no cost to you? Do you actually have a pro-active referral system?
Have you put in place formal joint ventures with people with a similar target audience to yourself, but who don’t compete with you? Can you put an offer together that a complementary firm can send out along with their next
For example, let’s say you are real estate agent. Why not put together a campaign to identify all of the local reputable home remodellers/building contractors, and ask them to email to all of their current clients and past
clients, a free market valuation along with a free report on how to sell their home in 60 days or less using your tried and tested methods?
Or perhaps you are a business consultant. How about getting in touch with business brokers, to offer their sellers and indeed their buyers, a free business plan session with you?
Or perhaps you are a guitar teacher. Get in touch with local music shops to have them offer their customers a free 30 minute lesson with every set of strings they sell?
Maybe you run your own Virtual Assistant business. Have you partnered with a business or marketing coach, to offer their customers an exclusive deal for one of your market dominating services in return for you sending a
message to your database an offer from the coach to offer your clients a free marketing audit?
Look you can’t afford to wait for referrals to happen. You have to MAKE them happen, and sell THROUGH people strategically, not accidentally. Look at the above examples – and inverse and/or reciprocal arrangement is also possible – e.g. A music shop offering guitar teachers the opportunity for students to get an exclusive 20% discount off of strings. (The idea here is not to sell guitar strings, it’s to get a new customer through the door and profit from the LIFETIME value of that student. They’ll soon want to upgrade their guitar, or even have it repaired and may become a customer of yours for YEARS to come)
Home remodellers can offer real estate agents to pass on to all of their clients a 10% discount on some work.
Don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring – build strategic JVs to get your phone ringing for you. (We have a 30 minute instructional video on this one strategy in our E-Learning marketing system www.ecobusinessacademy.com/myguidedtour)
If you can’t quite envision how exactly this strategy will work for your business just get in touch with us, and we’ll give you some ideas….
ATTENTION: Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Thinking about starting your own business?
Fact: If you don’t have a cast iron marketing system in place to generate new leads, your business will FAIL!
The number one issue that start-up business owners I speak to, complain about is their frustration that their phone isn’t ringing; that no-one is emailing them requesting information about their goods or services; and that if things don’t change pretty soon, they are going to start scouring the job boards again to get a PAYE position all over again, in the industry that barely needs people as it is.
There are two things that absolutely have to be in place for their business to be in place, and that is:
Of those two, the absolute #1, most important, is marketing. But here’s the problem.
Everything Small business owners have been told about marketing their business….is WRONG!
And that’s if they know anything about marketing in the first place!
Did you know that 96% of all start-up businesses are gone in 5 years. The reason? They fail to seek out professional help as they get started, and indeed throughout their business life cycle.
Business coaches like us, help YOU do it right from the very beginning.
From learning the right way to market your business….to helping you generate immediate cash flow, we provide the professional guidance and direction you need to instantly become a dominant player in your chosen industry.
And to ensure your success, we’ll provide you with all the training, resources, strategies and tactics you need to generate all the leads and new customers your business can handle.
We’ll help you create a Profit River for your business.
FREE VIDEO REPORT
The Three Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business. . . and How to Overcome them All
Download it here:
Alongside all of your sales and marketing training courses you might go on, it’s really important to regularly invest in books written by top authors. Here are a few recommendations that I think you should look at:
Secrets of Closing the Sales – Zig Ziglar
Book yourself Solid – Michael Port (follow him on twitter @michaelport)
Think Big and Kick Ass in Business – Donald Trump & Bill Zanker (founder of The Learning Annex)
How To Sell anything to anybody – Joe Girard
See you at the top – Zig Ziglar
Persuasion Engineering – Richard Bandler & John LaValle
For more books visit the ECO Business Academy bookstore.
Shop assistant: Hello, can I help you?
Vivian: I was in here yesterday, you wouldn’t wait on me.
Shop assistant: Oh.
Vivian: You people work on commission, right?
Shop assistant: Yeah.
Vivian: Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.
If there is one thing I have learned in the world of selling over the past 18 years that I have been involved in it, it is to never, EVER, judge your prospects and customers. The above quote is a great example, and you may recognise it from the famous scene from the movie Pretty Woman, when Vivian, a call girl, walked into a high-class ladies wear store, with lots of bags of designer shopping, having been refused service the previous day because she wasn’t dressed appropriately.
When I used to work in a large investment bank, I was surprised every day by the behaviour of my various customers. Surprised in that my expectations of what they would do versus what they actually did, regularly differed. Supposedly small clients gave more regular trade than supposedly large customers.
People in the banking world or financial advisors, have to go through a process of KYC – Know Your Customer. But this applies to all businesses, whatever you do.
How much time do you actually spend getting to know your customer?
One of the very best salesmen I have ever come across, was a guy called Charles B. He used to wait on me at one of the UK’s leading menswear retailers. When I first met him, I had gone into the shop because I needed to buy a pair of trousers. That first time I went in, I left having spent over £1,000
Charles’ approach to selling was to take a completely holistic view of his customer. He did not ask the typical shop assistant question “How can I help you?” – No – he would ask me what event I was getting ready for; what part of my wardrobe am I having trouble with right now (i.e.. casual, smart casual, formal, or super-formal). He would draw me into a conversation that would go something like this:
Charles: Hello Sir, I’m Charles. How are you doing today, are you planning something special or just looking to add some versatility to your wardrobe? Are you having trouble choosing what to wear in the morning?
Me: Well, actually yes, I just don’t have any trousers that I really like. I have jeans, and I have suits, but I want some casual slacks for when Jeans are just to casual.
Charles: No problem Sir, why don’t you step right into the changing room, and I’ll bring you 5-6 pieces for you to try on. What kind of knitwear, and shirts do you tend to wear, just so I can get an idea of the styles you are comfortable with? You’re a size 32 waist, and small for shirts/tops right? What is your name Sir?
Jason: It’s Jason. Yes that’s my size. I tend to wear fitted shirts, block colours like white or blue – I try not to be too loud or ostentatious.
Charles: Okay, stay there Jason, and I’ll sort you out with an outfit. You don’t have to buy everything, I just want you to see how you would look with what you already have in your wardrobe at home.
I would then spend the next 2 hours in the changing room. I’d never step out of it. Not once. Charles would even bring me water to keep my hydrated (you know what it’s like in changing rooms – HOT!)
Charles would bring me trousers, along with shirts, shoes and jackets (that I hadn’t come into buy) just so that I could ‘try them on’. He would emphasise how I feel and then bring more clothes so I could feel even more. He made me look good, and that made me feel good. He said that I didn’t have to buy ALL the clothes.
But I DID have to buy them, because he found the best pieces in the shop that suited my taste. He even sold me my first ever PINK sweater! That first visit I left with trousers, shirts, sweaters and shoes. Oh, and a belt. I bought it all, because what he also did was ask me to wear all the items in different combinations. White shirt with the navy trousers. Then the black trousers with a green sweater. Then the green sweater with the white shirt, and navy trouser etc… showing me that I wasn’t just buying one outfit, I was buying multiple outfits. He showed me that in fact my money was going to stretch to six-times the amount it would have if I had just bought without his help. I would buy 8 pieces, but have 64 different possible combinations to wear them.
He judged me better than I judged myself when I walked into the shop. I say “trousers”, he says “Get in the changing room”. He sorted out my entire season of clothing in one visit. I didn’t need to go to another shop for 6 months…..and when I did, you can bet I went back to see Charles.
Try to remove the “How can I help you?” vocabulary, and think of alternatives, and properly engage with your customers. Get to Know Your Customer the Charles B. way. My sales guru Zig Ziglar, (R.I.P), would be proud of him.
Oh, by the way, Charles B. now runs a very successful jewellery company called Bead Brothers.