There was a time, not so long ago, when consumers relied heavily on expensive paid advertising to make their spending decisions. Remember this?
Before seeing that commercial, viewers may not even have known that their husbands were suffering disdain and mockery due to the rings around their collars. Luckily, the commercial not only educated them about the dreadful plight of grey-collared office workers, but it also offered them a solution — Wisk Detergent. They would be spared the shame that the poor woman on the commercial suffered. Their washers wouldn’t taunt them each time they opened the door.
With the advent of the internet, consumers make their decisions a little differently now. As a heart-based entrepreneur, this is a great thing for you. When your potential clients are confronted with pricey ads from mega-corporations, it takes them minutes to do more research. They click on their favorite sites to check reviews on the company. They listen to podcasts. They Google the product and look for product reviews. They might even hit up WikiAnswers.com: “Is ring around the collar even a big deal?”
You may not have a massive advertising budget, but you have a global marketplace right at your fingertips, and consumers are talking to each other. The MarketingGuy tells us that according to a survey from 1&1 Internet, 89% of shoppers say they purposely stay away from small online retailers with negative customer reviews on the web. Referrals and recommendations are important. So how can you make this trend work to your advantage?
- Make sure you deserve your good reputation. Determine what your clients need, and deliver it.
- Build incentives for referrals into your processes from the beginning. Referrals are extremely effective, but your clients may not think of it if you don’t suggest it.
- Follow up with your clients to make sure they’re satisfied, then ask for referrals. Make sure you hand out at least three business cards
If you’re taking the time to know what your customers need and giving it to them with a true service attitude, you don’t have to worry if you have a small or no advertising budget. Clients who are referred to you will trust you more, and research shows that they are willing to spend more as well. What are you doing to earn referrals for your business? I’d love to see your comments below.
Article Written by Stefanie Hartman www.stefaniehartman.com
2012 © Stefanie Hartman Enterprises Inc. You may republish this article, if you keep the article intact as is and credit the authors name and website: “Stefanie Hartman” and website: www.stefaniehartman.com. Thank you.
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