Creating Repeat Customers Who Refer You

Creating Repeat Customers Who Refer You

Note: New Initiatives Marketing is part of The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast of which this is one episode. The podcasts are produced and recorded for the ear and they were designed to be either watched live on video or listened to via audio. If you are able to, we strongly recommend listening to this episode which will include emotion and emphasis that isn’t obvious when reading a transcript. Our transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans. They may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. This is not meant to be marketing advice.


Welcome to the Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast. In this podcast, you’ll get discussions and interviews 100% dedicated to helping small business owners tackle their marketing challenges. The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast is produced by the marketing guides for small business, a collection of five small business marketing consultants with dozens of years of combined experience in helping small business owners plan execute, measure their marketing plans and strategies in order to grow their business at a rapid pace. 


Your host and panelists include:

  • Ken Tucker, Owner and Chief Marketing Strategist at Change Scape Web in St. Louis
  • Paul Barthel, Chief Technical Officer at Change Scape Web
  • Dan Gershenson, CEO of Caliber Brand Strategy in Chicago
  • Ian Cantle, President and Chief Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing in Bradford, Ontario, 
  • Jen Kelly, Founder and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing in Toronto.



Welcome to this episode of The Marketing guides for small business podcasts. I’m Jen, we’ve got Ken, Paul, Dan and Ian here today. And the topic we’re talking about is creating repeat customers who refer you now guys, it sounds a little bit like a unicorn podcast here. I mean, having customers that refer you or one thing having customers that repeat business with you. Or another thing is it actually possible to have both with one customer. So we’ll be discussing that we’ll be talking about strategies, tips, and maybe some things to avoid as well as you try to implement this procedure. So Ken, I want to start with you. And I looked at some stats here, marketing is very much arts and science. Here’s the science bit here. So I’m going to read some stats to you. And then I want to get your opinion and your your thoughts on this. So acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25 to 95%. That’s huge. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60 to 70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is five to 20%. So aside from all the math, what are some of the reasons a business owner needs to seriously develop a strategy for repeat and returning customers



point in simply it is the fastest way to generate revenue. We talk a lot about the marketing hourglass in this podcast. Basically, you don’t have to go through the whole know like and trust process, because your existing customers should already know like and trust you. And so you can accelerate the whole process and you can get them to come back and buy from you. I’ll never forget when I went to the Twitter conference in Los Angeles in 2008, Tony Robbins spoke to really wrap up the conference. And I’m not a big Tony Robbins kind of person, I usually don’t get too excited about stuff like that. But he spent an hour and a half when he was supposed to only spend like 15 minutes talking to us. And one of the things he said I will never ever, ever forget. And that is if you can get your existing customers to buy 10% more from you to get them to buy 10% more frequently from you, and then get 10% new customers, you will absolutely transform your business, you will see exponential growth. And I think from a marketer perspective or for a salespersons perspective, it’s kind of the the challenge of the acquisition, right? We kind of get seduced into winning that new piece of business with that new customer. Don’t fall for it, you still need to have that as a good healthy leg of your growth strategy. But if you can get your existing customers to come back and buy more often from you and and even increase what they’re buying from you, incrementally, you’re going to do extremely well. Obviously, for certain businesses, there’s this idea of churn, you’re going to talk radically about different business models from brick and mortar businesses, restaurants, gyms, boutiques, places like that, versus professional services where maybe something is 10 or $20,000 transaction or more than you look at home services where you’re only going to need a roof, hopefully once every 30 years, whether cooperating as a roofer, how do you get repeat customers? Well, that’s where you don’t just think about your customer as buying that transaction. I mean, you need to look at them as How can you turn them into referral sources so that they are helping you to generate more revenue because again, they’re going to accelerate through that know like and trust when they provide a strong recommendation to you to your friends and family. So it’s not always just getting your existing clients or customers to buy. It’s how do you get them to refer you, especially when you don’t have a model where they’re going to be likely to come back and buy very often from you. Then you’ve got to get the referral process kicked up.



Yeah, absolutely. Well, Dan, it’s one thing to hope and pray your customers do some repeat business with you. But instead of hoping and praying, what kind of things can we do to make sure that they do repeat business with us?



First of all, show your face sometimes would be great, that would be fantastic. At the risk of seeming old fashioned about it, I do think you always got to have that face time with the customer. And I love technology as much as anyone. But I think too often we get in this trap of I will I put it on teamwork. And I texted them every now and then sent them a status report with all our analytics, why are they not interested in doing news? That’s new stuff with me? Well, because you’re a frickin robot. That’s why there is no humanity in any of that. We fall in love with our own reports and things like that. But there’s no communication in that and they want you. And I think that’s a thing that I have certainly gotten in the car when I didn’t have to, and go driving out to wherever, but it was worth it every time when I needed to do that. And so I do think for one thing, if you want to strengthen the relationship, and I have to follow this advice myself all the time and better is to basically use these tools like zoom, if you can’t be physically with them, or phone is really, I think you must do one of those three, we got in a vigorous discussion, as we often do at one of our annual summits. And one of the people said, well, you know, I text him because they’re comfortable with that, and whatever. I’m like, no, no, you cannot just text people and think that’s gonna be good enough. Like, you cannot just throw it up on project management tools like base camp and teamwork and think that’s, that is not communication, that is just project management. And there’s a difference. And so that’s the biggest thing I think that you can do is make sure that you are constantly setting an agenda of follow up a face to face. And that’s probably the biggest thing, because they don’t care as much about your tactical things that you’re doing. They want to be see you as a trusted adviser you not, oh, you have these tools and stuff that’s totally secondary. And then the only other thing I would say is you constantly want to be educating and giving them some new things that enlighten them, even it whether or not you are going to do that for them, I think it’s always good for you to bring ideas to the table. The one thing that I’ve always heard, particularly when I was working in advertising agencies, for other people, was we had to go with someone else. It wasn’t that they were bad. It’s just all they did was do what we told them to do. They never came to the table with new ideas, ever, and we’re all guilty of falling into that order taker hat, they need this, this is hot. And you’re always gonna have that. But I think you always do a service to yourself by bringing forth anything new that you have learned tools and whatnot, processes, anything like that, and not shiny objects, mind you, that’s not what I’m talking about. But things that you feel could be worthwhile for them to know, or even a relevant article that you come across for their industry. Those are all things that show that you care enough about their business and not just your own bottom line.



I want to elaborate on that too. Because I think Dan, what you’re talking about is very much geared towards somebody who’s working on a retainer, and a long term type project basis. Again, if you’re a brick and mortar, you’ve got to give people a reason to keep coming back in. Dan, you hit on the like education, I mean, it’s or introduction of new products, is staying top of mind. If you’ve got a new pizza, you just put out let people know if there’s a new training regimen that you’ve put forth, you know, a new workout of the day, get that out there to your to your existing customers. It’s a little bit of a challenge to talk about some of this kind of stuff, because the nature of the business and the type of business can vary widely, but you really have to challenge yourself as to what can I do to add value? It’s always about adding value and always giving people a reason to come back.



Yeah, I didn’t think about it until now. You’re doing work with painters, can you’re talking about somebody who it’s not like next week, I’m gonna need to paint my house again. Exactly. I imagine that’s quite a gap there where you got to fill not just reminding them, but giving them anything to remind them about the value.



Yeah, a great book I read probably two years ago. It’s called subscribed. And it’s talking about the subscription based model. And the challenge is how do you move, everybody’s becoming very comfortable buying on a subscription based model. So even if somebody buys from you once every five years once every 30 years. If you’re a roofer, you can still come up with innovative programs. To get people to come back some kind of a maintenance or a touch up program, inspecting gutters and cleaning out gutters twice a year, if you’re a roofer or things like that, because that that’s keeps you in front of the customer and helps you stay top of mind. And when you’re staying top of mind, they’re gonna say, You know what, I need to have that room painted. Or maybe it’s time we need to stay in our deck in the back of our house or in front of the house, I suppose. Again, if you can find a way to be paid to deliver a service to stay top of mind through a subscription type of model, that’s ideal, ah, back contractors have mastered that the annual cleaning check twice a year, you come out your furnace, once you come out for, you know, your air conditioner in the spring, who you gonna call when you have a problem with your heating cooling unit? It’s probably the person if you trust them, that you’ve been doing business with all?



Absolutely, I just want to wrap up on that, Dan, it’s very interesting, because on the opposite side, at least in service with what we do, the pressure is always to like, automate as much as you can, you shouldn’t be doing manual tasks as much as possible, let the software do the work for you. And you know, slowing down to make that phone call or that Zoom call, or that touch point is so important. And it’s so counterintuitive to what we’re we’re kind of pushed to do you know,



yeah, yeah, I think we were just talking about it recently, is that the trick, I think is always going to be how do I make this personal? And how do I scale at the same time, that’s always been sort of the magic thing there. Gosh, I want to talk to these 5000 people, and I want to make it all personal. Well, I’ll just change out the subject line and maybe their name. That’s personal, right. And so I think people have gotten wise to that kind of technique. It’s not personal at all, it’s just kind of. So I think if you’re really going to crack that code, the only way to do it, not the only way. But a pretty good way is, is to get a lot more selective and drill down on how you’re going to talk to people in a in a limited circle, and really get to know their problems. And frankly, I think even with your existing customers that you’re trying to get repeat business from. I’ve never seen anybody do any ongoing stuff to their customers on a on a regular basis outside of the scope of what they’re asked to do. I’m not saying like you do an E newsletter of one. But there’s so much more opportunity to be personal in that way towards your existing people. I think Ken was talking about it last week or something where it was video, and how cool is it? What video is giving us right now with loom and fun Juro and a few others Bom Bom and some of those that allow us to just get so personal and so quick that you can just kind of be like, Hey, I got this new program, or I thought you just want to know about it. Here it is, I’m taking you through risk. You’re in and you’re out. And it’s one minute, and you’re done. And I think that is really going to be where some insight is going to be for that scaling and personalization.



Absolutely. And in the series of podcasts we’ve been doing last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about funnels. So what are the types of things that company can do to encourage repeat and referral customers as they reach the end of the funnel? Or, as we say in duct tape marketing world, the hourglass?



Yeah, yeah. And and I would even suggest when people think of, there’s lots of ways of looking at the sales process, and the hourglass and the funnels and all the different ways we talk about it in business. The key thing to remember, and you’re alluding to this in your question, Jen, is that it’s a cycle, it never stopped. So even if somebody reaches the bottom of your funnel, the bottom of the hourglass, you’re putting them in the top again. And so that goes to what Ken and Dan, were saying, I’m going to break it down. As I thought about this and think through it, there are two different activities. So creating repeat business or encouraging repeat business is one thing. Encouraging referrals is another thing they do intermesh. But I want to break it down a little bit. And Dan talked a little bit about this, but you have to be a leader, your customers have hired you because you’re good at what you do. And you’ve proven that by executing on what you promised. So you have to be a leader, you have to choose to actually be proactive and present them with what’s the next step for them. Obviously, in different industries and different services and different products, it’s different. But you need to take that seriously and consider how you’re going to present the next layer of opportunity for them to ultimately create return on investment for them, or delight for them if it’s a pizza and giving them a dessert with it. So show them what your recommendations are. In sales. It’s often called cross selling or upselling. But if it’s done properly, it’s serving their needs and serving their wants and showing them what they can invest in next. So presenting them with offers. I loved what Dan said about education. It’s your job to educate them and present them with what’s the next service offering, or, or even reminding them of the catalog of products that you have. And I’ve fallen into this as well, it’s amazing to think how businesses think our customers know, everything we offer, whether it’s products or services, regardless of the industry or and they don’t, they know what they bought last. They might know some other things that surround that. But it’s up to you to present that to them. The additional thought on that too, is that your customer does not live in a you vacuum. I’ve fallen into this. In fact, I lost a great customer because of this, because I was constantly presenting them with the results we were giving them. But I also forgot that my competitors in that arena, we’re constantly bombarding them with sales and opportunities and offers and education. And so they do not live in a you vacuum. They are being bombarded and it’s disservice to your own business and to them because they have chosen you initially not to present them with what you offer them. I just wanted to also mention a couple things about referrals. You have to ask for referrals. Don’t be shy. I’m a pretty low key kind of guy. That’s how I got into business and, and I thought it was wrong to ask for referrals, I thought, Oh, my results will be enough that they’ll just feel compelled to give me a referral to do a Google review to present a video of you know, he is awesome. I love what he did for me. The world needs to know sometimes your customers might be trying to keep you as a secret because you’re so good. But you need to ask, you need to proactively ask them for reviews for video testimonials. Some ideas, like in the b2b world, ask them how you can refer to them. They will love that and it opens up the topic in the b2c world, equip them with how to refer to you tell them these are my ideal customers. It doesn’t work right now with COVID. But here’s a business card with an offer that’s for a referral for you or create a referral incentive program or contest where if they refer they get something back, but communicate. It’s a relationship like what Dan was saying. That was a long answer. It wasn’t



long. That’s okay. Excited there are not too shy to get into business. Come on. Paul, I want to turn the tables here a little bit. So we’ve been talking so far about how positive it is to encourage repeat customers. But is it ever okay to choose not to encourage an existing customer to keep doing business with you? Yes.



You want me to expand on it?



I would love.



You wanted to offset the in there.



Sorry, I used up your words, Paul.



One example I can think of is if there’s a change in indirection, let’s settle what’s the best example. Let’s say that you’re a paving company. And you decide that you’re not going to mess with concrete anymore, even though maybe it’s a little more profitable upfront, but asphalt has more profit in the long run, because it requires more maintenance. So you decide you’re not going to do concrete anymore. And you have a group of customers that you’ve done a lot of concrete paving far, you’re probably not going to do any more work for them. Every business owner has had the nightmare client, the high maintenance client, they’re never happy. No matter what you do, they’re never going to be happy, they nickel and dime you to death. So you probably wouldn’t want to encourage repeat business for them. It’s rare. But yes, I would say it can happen. Hopefully it’s not the norm. But it certainly can happen.



In that case, you would recommend that that company not take on anymore that concrete business just because it’s not going to fit with their new business model, right? They’re having a shift. And they really have to stay true to that, if that makes sense for their business. Is that exactly great. Can I want to flip over to referring but referring as a business owner? So what are your thoughts on the business owner doing referrals based on let’s say, either suppliers they’re working with, or star freelancers, contractors, that type of thing? On that, what would you say to someone who, who would say I have these great suppliers? I’d love to refer them. But they’re also my best kept secret. So I’d rather Nobody. Nobody really know about these guys. What would you say in those kind of scenarios?



Put yourself in their shoes? Do they want to be referred? And it can you give them enough business to keep them happy? If you can, then maybe it’s just a moot point, really. But I think as business owners, I think we all want other businesses to refer us. So make it as easy as possible. It’s kind of like, we run into this all the time as online marketers where people are like, but I don’t want to, I don’t want to tell people what I do for my business because then my competitors are going to be able to do do it and it’s like, okay, well, then nobody else is going to be able to see it either. But that’s kind of the same principle in my mind, we talked about in duct tape, creating the perfect introduction in reverse, where you can actually hand a document over to your trusted partners, your, your suppliers, your contractors, the other folks you work with at the other networking, folks in like a BNI, chapter or chamber and give them this documents, they fill it out, because I want to be able to refer you. And when you do that, they’re probably going to reciprocate. And likewise, you will want to fill out one of these documents that just talks about, here’s who my ideal customer is, here’s how you can refer me, here are the kinds of things we do just really, it’s an educational document. And I think you formalize the process. The other thing is, some businesses are much more aligned with a referral marketing strategy. And so if you’re expecting to get referrals, I think you’d better be prepared to give referrals, you may not be able to give them in the same volume, you should work hard to refer those good businesses that you’re doing business with, you’re going to ask people to go do it. By asking you asking them to write an online review about your business or about their business. It’s really the same thing. So yeah, I think it’s a big deal to refer your partners.



That’s the truth, that perfect introduction can is, yeah, you got to make it so simple for them to the point where I think, you know, frankly, sometimes I even record them on video. I’m just gonna get this down. And I’m transcribed. Because it’s not like they don’t want to do it. It’s just life happens. And it’s like, well, yeah, I got to do that for for Dan, or, but you’re just like, You know what, I want to help you. And I’m going to get this down, like in the next 15 minutes about these four questions. And I’m going to strip out the questions and then actually create a perfect introduction off of it. And then I’ll put it in front of you. But they’re so grateful when you do that, when you’re doing it for them that they’re just like, oh, this is great. Nobody’s ever done this, and vice versa. But if you do that for yourself and say copy and paste this in there, when you want to introduce me Hint Hint, that you’ve made it so easy to your point, because it’s like otherwise, some of those introductions really, let’s face it, they kind of suck. Like they’re they’re kind of like, Jen does marketing. Ian does construction I thought you guys would get Yes, I think you guys will like each other good luck, happy networking. Like, why didn’t what is happening right now, like we get those all the time, make it easy for them.



Think about who your golden goose referral sources are, I mean, those sources that just keep referring over and over and over again, and you can create content on your website, you can build funnels, specifically, to build a referral partner network of more people. So if you’re a carpet cleaner, and your ideal referral partner is a realtor, figure out what you need to do to build the relationship so that those realtors can refer you like crazy, and you don’t need many of them in a lot of cases, but you still have to put a process in place.



One of the things when when I heard you guys talking about this, it reminded me I’m part of a BNI chapter. And one of the things I’ve learned through that process, if I won’t go into what BNI is, if you don’t know about it, but it’s a referral network, one of the things I learned was to be specific. And one of the best examples of i that i saw of this was it was a promo clothing provider who wanted an introduction to a specific manufacturer. And so they were able to say to these 30 to 40 people, and this is broad, because it’s in a group environment. But does anybody know someone at this business? And would you be interesting to make an introduction for me, which is a referral. And so I just thought that was brilliant. And that’s another way we can do it as if we have a small number of clients. And if we have a small number of targets, we can say to those clients, obviously over a phone call or Zoom is better than through email. But hey, do you happen to know anybody at this business? Because they would be a fantastic referral for me?



Yeah, that is the best way I think if you actually say even if this is maybe too over the top for some, but if you go, Hey, Ian, I know you’re connected to so and so would you be willing to make an introduction? I mean, you’re you really can even in a group setting, you can do that. I think even at a BNI or anything like that, where it’s that time and you have that ask period. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying let me know later on, if that’s a person I can talk to, or just socially put them on the spot right there. Yeah, definitely.



Well, and Ian, I know you’ve built referral funnels very successfully. We all work on those. There is a time and a place to do marketing automation and if nothing else, Use the marketing automation to remind you or other key people in your business, that they need to be asking for things they need to communicate it trigger certain activities, you can at least automate that process so that you can incorporate that human touch.



Well, it sounds also positive guys. But Dan, is there ever a time where



a minute why are you asking me? Because I’m about to be a negative person.



We’re gonna, we’re gonna introduce in just a reality here. Good luck to you. Okay, we all we all made fun of putting someone on the spot. But in all seriousness, are there some times where it would be either too early or not appropriate to ask for referrals?



Yes, just look at LinkedIn, go on LinkedIn right now. That’s a perfect example of a too early. I’ve really had this experience, like, not only connecting and then pitching, we’ve talked about how bad that is. I’ve had a thing where I said, No, I’m not a fit. And then that person in the same message just turned around and was like, Do you know anybody else anyway? I’m like, No, here’s a stranger. So I think you really kind of have to have that Proofpoint in we all know that that point, in our relationships with somebody after a certain point in time, whether that’s a customer or a strategic partner, I don’t see that happening. Really, after you’ve had some significant touches with them, I don’t think you can walk into a room and trade some business cards. And suddenly, maybe, maybe, maybe you can do it after a one on one. But even that, it’s a hard thing to do. I will say this much, I will never be a person who just says given given given given the world will give back to me. I don’t do that. So I do think you can do it as soon as the first one on one with somebody if it’s a prospect of situation. And I think you can do it, as soon as in a customer situation, the first kind of win that you had with them. Anything before that point is kind of inappropriate. Like because you don’t know them that well. And you’re kind of putting them on the spot. But I do think as soon as the first one on one, again, let’s just pretend it’s a prospect or a strategic, someone who could be a strategic partner. And most people will be like, Well, I’m a giver. And if you know me, then whatever you give, I’ll just give and give, give give to you. And I’m just like, yeah, no, because I’m going to give you like 15. And then you’re going to give me one or something like no, it’s got to be a fair swap of I’ll give you one, you give me one. And I have not opposed to doing that in the first one on one. So as long as you are doing it, and you’re not doing something where it’s like, Hey, Jen, great to be connected to you on LinkedIn, you know, anybody who in your circle who needs me, what do you actually go up to people at a party and start talking like that, then probably, you don’t want to go in all in like that.



That’s good. See, that wasn’t too negative. You’re doing all right.



Come after me optimist.



So and you have a whole process here, it sounds like you’re really comfortable asking for referrals, whatnot, and you do great work, what happens in a situation where you’ve done some great work for a customer, they’re going to react with you right? resubscribe sign on for another year, you ask them for a referral? And they say, No. What do you do?



Well, first, I find my punching bag, and I scream into my pillow. No, I don’t obviously, I



could ever see you.



Well, I wasn’t even gonna go down that route. But in Joe, like setting aside the joke, you have to handle your emotions, right? Obviously, as a business owner, who gives their all assuming that we all do that, you have to handle your emotions, and you have to be a little bit less sensitive about it. And I would suggest we’re consultants on this podcast, but not everybody is a consultant. So not everybody thinks or is trained to kind of consult with people. But this is where as a business owner, you really have to become a consultant. And it has to be in a verbal or visual way. It can’t be through email very easily. But you have to get on the phone, you have to get on a zoom call something like that, or in person when we can get back in person and ask them why Why won’t you give me a referral? Sometimes we feel uncomfortable doing that. But it’s a fair question. If you’re delivering a fantastic service or product and they’re delighted with it, which it sounds like in this scenario, then the it’s a fair question to ask why and even go a little bit further. If you’re kind of hitting a roadblock and saying, What would I have to do in order to get a referral from you? We all usually explain this in some way or some of us just imply it, that every business has a portion of their business built on word of mouth. And so all of us as business owners know that it’s fair to remind people of that what’s part of your entire sales process that your customers give referral. I would also add that I wouldn’t press them. This is a relationship, you have to have some form of emotional intelligence when you’re interacting with people. So that’s why the question, why is it good one, it would just be a matter of gently probing rather than pressing. But I love that question about what would I have to do to get a great referral from you?



One thing, just to piggyback on that, there are people who want to help you more than you know. And I think we all think, Oh, I’m bothering them or something like that. Particularly, I think for the strategic partners, the people who maybe you don’t even know are potential strategic partners, and they want to be, for example, we all go through this as entrepreneurs, and we ride the roller coaster of emotions. And one day, I was like, really down on myself sitting across the table from somebody, and I’ll never forget it. She goes, Why would you rob me of the opportunity to help you? She’s like, Why? Why would you take that away from me? I want to help you, why aren’t you letting me help you? And I said, Well, I just figured you do it. And she’s and she goes, Well, I need to know who it is that you want to meet. I know a lot of people, but I know I want to help you, too. So it’s educating them all the time. But more people want to help you, then you realize that’s a good way to go into it.



I agree with that, Dan. But I would have to say that we have to be respectful of this. And what I mean by that is we’ve run into some instances where folks will say, You know what, look, I’m not doing the online review thing. But I will I will not hesitate if you need to use me as a reference in an email or something like that. Absolutely no problem. But I do not want my face my name, you know, out there on a website or anything like that. So there has been that they still want to help you. But they just don’t want to, you know, make a song and dance about it. So you know, we have to respect that. Well,



absolutely. They’ve done that. Oh, yeah. I only have the once.



Yeah, we’ve had it with with clients. Yeah, happy to refer you but not like, you know, leave your online review? And then also do it depends on what kind of companies you’re working with. We’ve come across this in larger companies, you know, not allowed to speak on behalf of the company not even allowed to give a review, or, you know, so something public like that, but happy to talk you up in person. So



here’s what I would say, though,



your standard by this or you



got it happen once and when it did, I was like it really? Okay, that’s fine. I mean, then here’s what has to happen, you have to really find some other things about that client that you like, besides the money, because if they’re not going to review you, or they’re not going to give you a referral, you better find a, they better be really enjoyable. Because money is not going to be enough. If they’re not going to do any reviews or any referrals of you at all, then yeah, you better be like, Yeah, this this guy’s really cool, though. I like working with him. There’s emotional reward, you got to have that reward somewhere for yourself,



I would disagree that we got,



we got to disagree.



Because you know, if the end result is, oh, I need a review. I don’t know about that. What about the end result of being like, we help this business grows so great, satisfying.



Not saying like, they’re a bad customer, if they don’t give you a review. That’s not it, they’re just bad, they don’t give you a real referral, that’s fine. But then there has to be something else that fulfills that gap for you. Some people, they do just take these clients as a transactional kind of thing? Well, they’re paying a lot. So I’ll put up with anything. And I just don’t think that’s enough. I think you got to have something else of fulfillment to complement that. So if it’s not a review, or it’s not a referral, then what else is there, there has to be something else. And as you just said, if it’s an emotional reward, I feel good about this, and they appreciate it. Do they say thank you, because that matters. So as long as they do that, and then you can get by with it and feel good about it. Anybody else?



There are a lot of very successful businesses that are pretty transactional, where both parties are giving value, that people are not always going to take the action, some people are going to be more comfortable doing it than others. Some people don’t have the ability to get online and leave you a review for your business. That may make sense. But for every business, if you literally see 150 200 300 customers a day, the different model, different process.






We had a we had to get one of those disagreements. Always loves it when we throw down.



Oh, we’re gonna go go over to you. You’ve been too quiet here. It’s great to get the referrals from other business owners or from previous customers, that kind of thing. But what if you get a referral? And it turns out, you don’t want to work with this company or this person. How do you handle that? are you obligated to go forward anyways, what are your thoughts? Something that



that’s interesting question. I’d say, No, you’re not, you could probably it’s 15 Different people this question get 15 different answers. I think to some degree, how you handle it comes down to diplomacy. So it’s probably not the best question for me.



At least you’re honest, that’s great.



I guess first of all, is if you and the person that gave you the referral, know each other fairly well, you would hope that they wouldn’t refer you a wingnut. But if it does happen, I think that’s kind of how you phrase and set the discovery. That’s kind of what the discovery call is for, if you realize during this process, that you’re not going to be a good fit. That’s part of the reason for the discovery call. And you can say, Look, I just don’t think we’re going to be a good fit. And you would think that the person that referred them would would understand that I know if if any of my friends referred someone to me that I just knew we weren’t going to work together, they would understand that. So it’s a short and sweet answer. As far as that go. But yeah, I would say no, you’re not obligated to because ultimately, you have to do what’s best for your business as well. And if you and this other person aren’t going to work well together, then no one’s gonna benefit in that relationship.



Fair enough. Absolutely. In real life, you only have to be set up by your friends to realize like, I don’t think you know me. I just send this person my way. So it happens in business too. So good. Well, guys, we got a long, long time, today is probably a good place to wrap up. Thank you for guiding our listeners on this important topic, creating repeat customers who refer you and we’ll see you all next week. See you Bye bye.



We want to thank you all for taking the time to listen to today’s podcast. Please be sure and subscribe to the marketing guides for small business podcast in your podcast software. We’d love for you to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And please don’t forget to visit marketing guides for small For more episodes, free resources and links to set up free consultation calls with any of the hosts of this podcast. Thanks again and stay tuned.


Jen Kelly runs New Initiatives Marketing (NIM), the marketing team for businesses who don’t have a marketing team. With implementation and execution as NIM’s focus, we’ve been working world-wide remotely since 2009. NIM has supported marketing strategy execution in companies as large as the Fortune 50 and those as small (but growing) as $2M in annual revenue. 

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