When your best clients talk to other people about you, what do they say? If you’re focused on getting referrals you’ll need a good answer to this. And you’ll need to do it proactively.
Do they say you’re creative? That you’re responsive? Do they say you’re excellent at coming up with recommendations? The kind that make perfect sense for the objectives they’re trying to reach?
What if they’re not saying anything about you at all?
Whenever I ask salespeople where most of their business comes from, they inevitably tell me “word of mouth.” Someone they know referred the business to them. That’s a great place to get leads, but how can we make that happen more often?
When Getting Referrals, the Answer is to Teach Our Prospects and Clients What to Say About Us
Sometimes it’s enough for them to say, “my friend Jim sells that stuff, you should give him a call.” But that’s not really all that compelling, is it?
Instead, we want to give them the hook… the primary benefit of doing business with us rather than anyone else. This goes back to what I was saying before about what your best clients say when they talk to others about you.
Do they say you’re great at meeting deadlines? That you’re able to work within budgets? That you can get stuff for them fast, fast, fast?
It’s nice when people say good things about us. But we also need to ask, “How does what they’re saying about us match up with what we consider to be our core strengths? What do we want to be known for?”
If they tell people you can get stuff for them fast, what type of clients will that attract? Last-minute shoppers? Indecisive people? Procrastinators?
If they tell people you’re the cheapest, what type of clients will that attract? Bidders? Cheapskates? Low-ballers?
If you want people to send you the right type of referrals, you need to teach them what to say about you. And that starts with having some idea of what you want people to say about you.
What Do You Want to Be Known for When You’re Getting Referrals?
What is it that you want other people to think about when they hear your name or your company name?
Whatever it is, you need to say it with words and demonstrate it with actions.
If your core strength is creativity, you need to promote your creativity (that is, tell prospects and clients how you do that, how you are creative.) Then demonstrate it with each presentation.
If your core strength is meeting deadlines, you need to tell them in your marketing and show them with your actions.
When we try to be all things to all people, it’s harder for prospects and clients to understand what we’re all about — let alone explain it to other people and refer them to us.
So today, take just a few moments to determine what you’re great at.
1. What is it that you’re great at?
2. What would you like to be great at?
3. What would you like to be known for?
Take a moment. Jot it down. Then, concentrate your efforts on communicating that primary benefit in your conversations, your marketing, your emails, your blog posts, your social media — and demonstrating it for your clients in the work you do every day.
Your words can give people a great idea, a guideline of what to say about you, but ultimately your actions will determine whether or not they’re going to want to say it.
Are you ready to get more referrals and make more sales?
If so, check out the five primary ways we help promotional product distributors grow:
- Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.
- Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.
- Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.
- Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to grow your promo sales by hiring others, click here.
- Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.