Let your customers do your marketing

The thumbnail version:

  • Being heard nowadays is difficult among all the advertising noise
  • Customer referrals are effective and cost efficient
  • You have to give customers reason to market for you
  • There are statistics to support this

The full version:

Advertising nowadays, especially through social media is, as Seth Godin has apparently noted, a bit like firing off flares during a hurricane in the Atlantic and expecting to be noticed. In other words, mostly a waste of time and effort.

So don’t neglect an old tried-and-tested method of marketing—customer referrals. It’s cost-free and targeted. It’s much more like shooting fish in a barrel than firing off flares in the Atlantic.

The key is to produce work and service that wows customers, that gets them excited about your shop. Once they have a reason to talk about your shop to other potential customers, there’s no shame in asking them to do just that. You have to ask though because it may not occur to them that your really need them to do that.

Bottom line—give them a reason to tell others and then ask them to do so. It works because it’s human nature to share when you have a positive experience to relate. You remember the old hair cleanser advertisement?: “Two people told two people, who told two people, who told two people, who told two people . . .”

It snowballs.

Here are some recent supporting statistics from spotio.com: 

Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.

– 84% of buyers now kick off their buying process with a referral

– 92% of buyers trust referrals from people they know.

– 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.

– Companies with formalized referral programs experience 86% more revenue growth over the past two years when compared to the rest.

– The lifetime value of referred customers is on average 16% higher than that of non-referred customers.