Trouble Increasing Referrals? Time to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone...
As a former pharmaceutical senior level executive, I was fortunate to be extensively trained and groomed on “howto ask and close for business.” As a business owner I apply these learned principles to my agency, Always Best Care Senior Services, although my target audience is different. You see, big pharma successfully educates their marketing and sales associates on the following:
• Creating an invaluable need for their products and services
• Understanding/prioritizing the customer base that will lead to cultivating valuable relationships
• Developing a strong plan to customize and deliver “the” marketing message to generate sales, referrals, and revenue
All of these are important. However, the most important quality to generate continuous referrals coming your wayis you. It is critical to believe in yourself and not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
3 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
1. Engage in passionate promotion. This means promoting your business at all times and wherever you go. I don’t care whether it’s an organized business networking function, personal gatherings (christenings,parties, weddings, and funerals), working out at the gym, or standing in line at the supermarket. Passionate promotion is what I do when I talk about my baby—Always Best Care Senior Services—like a parent speaking passionately about her child.
Once you start thinking about yourself and your business in this fashion, you will create the habit of getting out of your comfort zone and approach people outside of your work environment. The key is to ALWAYS be prepared to articulate the value of your services and why your company is different. Get into the habit of asking: “If you know of anyone who can use my services, do you feel comfortable referring me?” If you don’t ask this,you’ve missed an opportunity to explain your exceptional services—and more important—gain a referral.
2. Promote with purpose and intent. I love thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting Always Best Care Senior Services. Remember, differentiation from your competition is a must. One of the ways I do this is by investing in premiums or giveaways that have a purpose and a goal—such as hand sanitizers (great for cold and flu season), penlights for writing on paper and tablets,and notepads in the shape of scrub tops because these are memorable and different. I always carry a bunch of these items with me so I can give them away when I’m going to a personal or business event.
3. Join networking groups aligned with your business. I must admit that I attended several networking groups as a guest before deciding to join. I joined one that was not a right fit for my business because it turned out to be a business card exchange. There were no meaningful conversations about attendees’ businesses. When you’re running a business, time matters, so it cannot be wasted by going to the wrong places and meeting the wrong people in hopes of generating referrals. This equals no referrals or, worse, the wrong referrals.
I quickly ascertained that the right networking groups for my business were those where I could interact with powerful women. Why? It is well documented that women are the world’s most powerful consumers and decision makers within a family. In January 2015, Forbes magazine published “Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Women Consumers.” The article illustrates that “Women drive 70–80 percent of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of their buying power and influence.” And it goes on to say that even when the woman isn’t making the purchase, she is the influence or veto vote behind someone else’s purchasing power. Wow!
Now I was on a quest to find a networking group of powerful women. It took a few months until a friend and colleague, Nancy Cohen, turned me onto—yep, you guessed it— NJAWBO. So, I joined NJAWBO because I was overwhelmingly impressed with the caliber of business women I met that were serious about their businesses and helping fellow business owners. I enjoy being part of NJAWBO so much that I became the membership coordinator for the Northeast Region last year. And yes, I receive quality referrals from NJAWBO members who I also consider my strategic partners.
You can reach Liz at Ejohnson@abc-seniors.com or 877-318-0529.
To learn more visit www.AlwaysBestCare.com/nj/maywood.