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10th Anniversary: Top Ten Things Learned, Part IV

We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary and started recounting what we’ve learned in the January newsletter. We learned a lot in that time and this series will explain each point a little more.

Word of Mouth is the Best Marketing for Small Businesses

I know from our own experience that nothing beats people talking about you and telling people who trust them they should consider hiring you. The odds of making a sale rise from very low to 50% via referral from a trusted source. We’ve built Rapport primarily on word of mouth.

Sidebar: a big thank you to everyone who’s referred people to us over the years! We couldn’t have done it without you.

So What Happens After the Referral?

I will happily admit that I have been hired on the recommendation alone. But that’s rare. Most people who’re referred to us at the very least look at our online portfolio, maybe read a few blog posts to see how we think.

The referred prospects need to see for themselves that you live up to the positive words of your referral source. They need to see a website and perhaps other marketing tools that confirm your legitimacy, professionalism and provide a bit more information – understand what you can do for them.

Make Yourself Referable

If there isn’t an immediate need and/or you’re not on a potential referrers mind
when someone does need your services, you won’t get the referral. Stay top-of-
mind and give them something to make it easy to refer you with regular contact
like mailings, newsletters, creating events, social media activity and more.
Those ‘forward to a friend’ buttons are there for a reason.

Develop a Fan Base

The number one thing you can do to create word of mouth is a fantastic job! Happy clients not only come back for more, but become your biggest fans and refer you when they get the chance. Don’t forget suppliers – if you treat them well and they admire your work they may become a great referral source too. The key is they all like being appreciated, so be sure to thank them!

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