August 11th, 2014
I know a successful Denver web designer whose mantra is: “Keep working for the referral.” In other words, even after he gets the business, he continues to work hard to deliver a breathtaking design to his clients in order to delight them – and inspire their referrals.
But what impresses me even more about Jeff is that, when the business doesn’t go his way, he continues to keep working for the referral. He is intentional about keeping in contact with clients/prospective clients and subscribing to their e-newsletters and blogs, regularly adding value by chiming in with comments and ideas. And he attends networking events where he’s likely to encounter them, often leading to conversations about their web successes or challenges. He sends clients (as well as prospective clients who turned him down) a holiday card containing a personalized, handwritten note in order to foster relationships into the New Year.
Less effective businesspeople tend to marginalize the value of prospects that say “no” (under the assumption that only paying clients are valuable, worthy of their time and effort, and capable of offering referrals to grow their clientele).
While Jeff’s efforts are occasionally rewarded with web design projects, they’re regularly rewarded with referrals. In fact, the activities listed above constitute most of his annual marketing budget and account for the majority of his firm’s new client acquisition.
His example serves as a great reminder to me that win or lose, always keep working for the referral.
Don’t settle for ordinary. Choose extraordinary. (It’s always a choice.) Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
Watch the 90-second book trailer.
Illustration by Aaron McKissen.