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Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting the Most from Referrals

Receiving a referral from a business associate immediately puts you in a favorable light with a potential customer/client. Making the referred person your customer is up to you. Be prepared to be consistently professional using customized marketing material that will reinforce your image and cause you to be favorably remembered.

1. Take a fresh look your business card. Business cards are the most common and acceptable way to give information about your company. Your card's appearance also says something about you. What impression does your business card make? If it is not outstanding in some way, consult a professional to find out how to make it so.

Print your cards in volume and make sure everyone you exchange referrals with has a supply of your outstanding cards.

2. Develop a brochure or flyer that you can hand out to groups or leave with a potential customer/client. When you're not around, your brochure or flyer will be there to represent you. Make sure it is professional, current and has the same outstanding qualities as your business card.

3. Follow through and follow-up. Send a letter of appreciation after each new appointment along with any information or estimates you may have promised to provide. Include your card and brochure even if you left them at the time of your visit. Or, better yet, include a "give-away" gift: a pen, note pad, mug or other desk accessory displaying your logo and contact numbers and Web site. Desk items are usually kept...on their desk and within easy reach!

Phyllis Strode of Strode and Lee, Marketing by Design. Phyllis is a member of the La Verne chapter of TEAM.

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