Archive for November, 2013

3 Ways to Get Referrals from Your Current Customers

Posted on November 27, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , |

Are you currently offering your clients an incentive for referring someone to you?  If you have customers who already know, like and trust your company, use that to your advantage by asking them to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your company.    Remember, people like to do business with companies that a trusted friend or family member has referred them to, so it is almost guaranteed business for you.

If you don’t already have a referral program, here are three ways to start a referral program.

1.  Offer a Referral Incentive–  You can offer the referrer a discount on your services or products for each referral that you receive that turns into business for you, or you can offer a visa gift card or a store gift card like Target, Starbucks, etc.  Offering an incentive encourages people to actively refer business to you.

2.  Create an easy way to submit a referral–  For tracking purposes, I would suggested creating an online referral form where people can easily send you a referral online.  A great free tool that you can use to create a referral form and track it is Wufoo.  You could also have people call or email you directly to submit a referral, but you have to be sure that you have a way to track a referral that is submitted via phone or by email.

3.  Promote your referral program.  Just like anything else in your business, you have to promote it in order for people to know about it.  You should promote your referral program on all of your communication pieces to your customers (i.e. your business card, your enewsletter, your brochures, your website, your blog, etc.)

Do you have a referral program?  If so, what techniques do you use to encourage referrals?

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3 Ways to Get Repeat Business by Rewarding Your Customers

Posted on November 21, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , |

Welcome Back! DoormatA great way to get repeat business from your CURRENT customers is to start a rewards program.  Rewards programs have become popular over the last decade or so in various industries including credit card companies, restaurants, and retail stores to name a few.  Rewards programs are great because they encourage repeat business and increase brand loyalty.  They don’t have to be complicated, you can create a simple rewards program for your customers.

Here are three types of rewards that you could offer:

  1. Birthday Rewards–  Send your customers gift cards on their birthdays.  This is a great relationship marketing strategy to strengthen the relationship you have with your customer, and it is also a great rewards benefit because you are rewarding your customer’s loyalty by offering a special discount on the customer’s birthday.
  2. Repeat Purchase Rewards–  When a customer purchases from your business, show that you appreciate the business by offering some type of incentive to purchase again in the future. For example, you could offer, 50% off on your fifth purchase, and/or a FREE items on your tenth purchase, etc.  You will have to have a way to ensure you are tracking the purchases accurately and that items are awarded at the appropriate time, but otherwise from that, this is a fairly easy type of reward to implement.
  3. VIP Sales Events–  Offer VIP Sales Events where your customers get a special offer only available to your VIP customers at a special sales event.  This type of reward works well because it makes your current customers feel special because they are being offered something that the general public does not have access to, and it allows you to reward them for their loyalty.

Do you have a rewards program for your customers?  If so, what types of rewards do you offer?

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7 ways to use Relationship Marketing to grow your business

Posted on November 12, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing | Tags: , , , |

Survey form with a tick placed in Outstanding checkboxAccording to dictionary.com, Relationship Marketing is a marketing strategy in which a company seeks to build long-term relationships with its customers by providing consistent satisfaction.  There are several ways that a company can provide consistent satisfaction by using Relationship Marketing tactics.

Here are 7 ways to implement relationship marketing tactics in your business:

  1. Offer EXCELLENT customer service.  When a customer purchases a product or service from you, you should go above and beyond to make sure that the customer is happy with your service.
  2. FOLLOW-UP after the purchase–  Many companies do not do this, so it will put you way above the rest if you decide to do this.  Depending on the product or service you offer, be sure to follow-up with the customer a couple of weeks after the purchase to ask them how they are enjoying the product and to see if they have any questions.  This is a great opportunity for you to build up trust and loyalty with your customer.  Some people don’t want to do this in case the customer has a compliant about the product or service.  However, I think this is  a great way to reach out to them and solve the issue if they do have one.
  3. Send a customer satisfaction SURVEY  In addition to a follow-up phone call or email, sending a customer satisfaction survey to get feedback on how they felt your company’s customer service was is a great tool for you to show that you care about the type of service being offered, and to get valuable feedback and shed light on areas in your service that may need improvement.
  4. Send a “Thank You for Your Business” Card–  This may seem old-fashioned, but it is a way for your company to really stand out by sending each customer a “Thank You for Your Business” card in the mail.  It shows your gratitude for their business and solidifies the new relationship.
  5. Send an “Anniversary” card or email–  This is  a great way for you to stay top of mind.  Send your client an email or card that marks the anniversary date of when they used your service or purchased your product.  An anniversary card or email is also a great way to send a special offer that encourages repeat business (i.e. $10 off your next purchase, 20% off, etc.)
  6. Send a Birthday card-  This is a nice way for you to stand out.  Most people no longer receive cards in the mail for their birthday, so receiving a card from your company is a nice way to stand out and stay top of mind with your customer.
  7. Send a Holiday card and/or email–  There are several holidays that many people celebrate throughout the year.  Sending a special email or card to your customers on the holidays is a great way to stay top of mind.  Adding a special holiday offer (i.e. $10 off your next purchase, 20% off, etc.) can be a nice touch.

What types of relationship marketing techniques do you use?

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Top 3 Ways to Get More Business

Posted on November 4, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Business Referral Image

If you own a small business (or any sized business for that matter), you’re always looking for ways to get more business.  Most companies look for NEW business and neglect their most important source of more business……  CURRENT customers.

Here are three ways to get more business from your CURRENT customers.

  1. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING–  There are several definitions of what Relationship Marketing is, but for me it means creating a long lasting relationship with your CURRENT clients in order to get additional business in the future.  There are many ways that you can use this marketing technique, both online and offline, but no matter what channel you use, the goal of Relationship Marketing is to continue to develop a relationship with your customers beyond the first purchase.  This could include showing your gratitude for their business by sending a “Thank You” card, remembering important dates like the anniversary date of services received by your company, sending a birthday card, sending holiday emails, etc. Each time you connect with your customers it keeps your service top of mind, and it builds the know, like and trust factor for your company.
  2. REWARDS PROGRAM–  Are you rewarding your customers for choosing your company?  Rewards and loyalty programs are super popular now.  Many credit card companies offer rewards programs to ensure repeat business and to keep their customers loyal to their credit card.  The same type of rewards program can be applied to any industry.  The goal of a rewards program is to encourage loyalty, get repeat business, and to keep your service or product top of mind with your CURRENT customers.
  3. REFERRAL PROGRAM–  Are you currently offering your clients an incentive for referring someone to you?  This really is a no brainer technique.  If you have customers who already know, like and trust your company use that to your advantage by asking them to refer their friends and family for your services.  People like to do business with companies that a trusted friend or family has referred them to, so it is almost guaranteed business for you.  The goal is to get your current customers to send you more business in the form of a referral by offering some type of incentive for the referral.

What ways do you use to get more business from your existing customers?

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