Finding Your Starting Point
If you have little or no experience with referral marketing, it would be a mistake to jump into action without preparing yourself. Central to the referral-marketing process is getting people to send you referrals. To do so, they must know exactly what you do — what product or service you provide or make, how and under what conditions you provide it, how well you do it and in what ways you are better at what you do than your competitors. You have to communicate this information to your sources. And to communicate effectively, you must know the same things.
It may seem a no-brainer; don’t we all know what we do for a living? Yes, of course, most of us do. But can you communicate it clearly and simply to your potential sources? When you try to do so, you may find that you’re not quite as clear on the facts as you thought. And if you can’t tell your potential sources what you do or what you sell, how can they send you good referrals?
Before you map out where you’re going to take your business with your referral-marketing campaign, pause and get a clear picture of where your business stands today. Try to answer, in simple terms, the following questions:
- Why are you in business?
- What do you sell?
- Who are your customers?
- How well do you compete?
Answering these questions for yourself will help you tell others what your business is about. This will make you more effective at implementing your comprehensive and systematic referral system.