You Ever Have One Of Those Days?
Let me ask you a question. Do you ever wake up in the morning and you just say, “I know this is going to be one of those days”? Those types of days are different for everybody, but for me, one of those days is when my emails suddenly start to explode with people with problems, and not problems that I've caused, but things that happened to them. They come to me and they say, “Hey, can you help me fix this?” One example is from today; I have a client who is with GoDaddy, and he forgot to pay his bill. Something happened, and his site got deleted, and he asked, “Can you restore it?” I said, “Yeah, I can restore it,” because he pays me every single month, not a lot, to basically maintain and backup his WordPress site.
Luckily, the backup worked fine and I was able to restore to the site, because GoDaddy wanted to charge him $150 to restore his website. I told him, “I'll restore it, but it's going to cost you a little bit.” It cost him less than a third, and he got back to where he was, so he was happy. Maybe not as happy as if that never happened, but at least I was able to solve his problem. Some days are just like that, where you just get barraged with people with all different kinds of problems, but as a business owner or a business person, one of the things I want to tell you is that you have three jobs, and I want to even take that a little further.
Everyone Has Three Jobs
Everybody in your business has three jobs.
- Customer Service
One of the things you have to think about is, how can I increase sales? How can anybody in my business increase sales? One of the ways I like to do it is through referrals. What I want to talk about today is three ways to get your customers to sell for you. I had another customer who I finished up a project for last week. It was a pretty short-term thing, but it was consulting. Basically, what I did is help them set up a website and help them set up a system so that they can get qualified clients in.
Part of the website system is that if you want to talk to us, you can get a 15-minute free consultation, but you have to qualify for it. They had to fill out a form, and if they qualified, then they could go set up a link to book that 15-minute free consultation. What I did is set up the website, but did not link directly to something called Acuity scheduling. If you haven't heard me talk about that before, there are tons of things on the podcast. Check out Acuity. Just search for it in baconpodcast.com. One of the best software bargains ever, I think, because it's only 10 bucks a month, but it gives you the ability to set up all kinds of meetings, and it integrates with everything. It integrates with PayPal, GoToMeeting. I use it constantly for my coaching clients.
What I did is I set up this system for them where they could book that, but if they don't qualify, what do you do then? How about getting them onto an email list? Then we set up AWeber. We have AWeber as the means for them to sign up and stay informed, and then they've got a blog writer who's writing blogs for them that is constantly turning out great information, so that maybe the person will be ready further down the line. Maybe their business has grown. Maybe they're willing to say, “Hey, you know what? Let me try again and see if I can communicate and see if I can get this thing to work.”
Ask For A Referral
When I was done with the project, they were super happy, because part of what I do and my superpower is training. I trained them how to use all of those tools. I trained them on the entire process: how to go through the entire process, what steps they needed to take in order to qualify people, how to deal with unqualified people, and how to get people to the website. That was a big system that I put together for these people. At the very end of the last call, which was the second training session, I said to them, “Okay, I hope you guys learned a lot. I hope I gave you all the information that you needed. I'm going to give you customer support for another 30 days so if you have any questions, let me know.” But here's the thing. I asked them for referrals; I said to them, “If you're happy and you know anybody else that can use this kind of service, would you please refer them back to me?”
Step number one is ask for referrals, especially when a client is incredibly happy with what you're doing for them at the time when they're the most happy, because they feel like you've given them the value and you've given them what you promised and hopefully you've under-promised and over-delivered.
Stay In Touch With Customers
The second way to get customers to sell for you is stay in touch. I've talked about this before. One of the things that I suggest that you do is if you're using something like QuickBooks or FreshBooks or something along those lines is to export your entire customer list, current customers, past customers, doesn't matter. Turn it into a CSV file so that you get their name and their email address, and then go into something like AWeber, Constant Contact, whatever email program you use, MailChimp, doesn't matter – but the key thing is to import all of those past customers into a separate list that says, “Current customers, past customers.” However you want to to do it, but make sure you're really clear about the fact that these are customers that you've worked with, and then stay in touch.
Email them and say, “Hey, you know, I haven't spoken to you for a while. I'm sorry I haven't been as attentive to your needs, but this is what I'm doing now. These are the kind of things that I have that might help you, and if it's not going to help you, maybe it can help somebody that you know, and I would really appreciate a referral.” Utilize, maintain, and build upon those past relationships. If people want to unsubscribe, that's fine because maybe they don't need you anymore, maybe they've moved on to a different company, whatever, but the people that are interested in what you have to do will be responsive. Maybe they won't say anything, but at least you're planting a seed in their mind.
Give Clients Referrals
The third thing that you can do, and I talk about this a lot in business, is one of the best ways to get them to give you new business is to give them new business. Always keep your clients top of mind. If there's an opportunity to refer some people to them, refer clients to them and let them know, “Hey, I just referred this client.” Send them an email, send a Facebook message, whatever it is, and say, “I have just referred somebody to you that I think is going to be a good fit. Let me know how it works out.” One of the things that happens with that is that people will tend to say, “Thank you,” but they also have this little bit of pinging in their heart saying, “Well, I need to return the favor.” By referring clients to your past clients can often create new clients for you because once you do it for them, they may turn around and do it for you.
Those are the key things that you have to do is, number one, ask for the referrals. Number two, stay in touch and keep those people informed at what you're doing. Thirdly, give them new business.
Keep in mind that this should be in addition to your traditional sales techniques, but if you teach and train everyone in your business that they are in the customer service, marketing, and sales business first, the results will start to show some positive results!
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share your experiences and suggestions on how your customers or past customers have helped (or could help) create new business!
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/
Very well said, Brian. Thank you for sharing these tips. I particularly like “give clients referrals.” I love how you thought of that “need to return the favor” feeling. It manifest good relationship, establishing loyalty between two parties.