Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. – Walt Disney
It takes time to see things clearly.
I don’t know about you but when you hear someone explain a concept it’s all words and ideas and concepts.
You don’t get it, really get it, viscerally and in your being, until you try doing what those words say and fail a few times.
I suppose that is the case with any profession but it’s even more true with marketing.
Because marketing is the art of having a conversation with someone and, as we all know, talking to someone you don’t know is not the easiest thing in the world.
It all depends on context.
A direct approach has the highest chance of failure.
As the famous McGraw Hill ad of the grumpy man in a chair shows beautifully.
What works better is being in the same place at the same time, serendipitously.
But serendipity is fickle and you may have to spend time trying to structure opportunities to meet instead.
But there’s something better that you should try and get working as a process in your business.
For a while now, I’ve been looking at the stuff that Jay Abraham puts out.
Abraham, one of the doyens of direct marketing, rubs shoulders with people like Tony Robbins and has some useful things to say.
He’s big on referral marketing – getting business through other people who know people.
And you see this being used by many of the people that are doing well in the digital economy today.
Take Tim Ferris, for example, the host of one of the most popular business podcasts on the Internet today.
His podcast starts with around six minutes of advertising built entirely around referring his audience to products and services he trusts and uses.
Abraham has a five step approach that you could use when approaching people who are, like Ferris, influencers that know your prospects.
The influencers you want to talk to may be existing customers, associates, or even competitors.
The point is that they have access to the kind of prospects who can benefit from what you have to offer.
The benefits need to be real and clear and tangible.
There is a mindset shift that Abraham needs from you – one where you go from being in love with your product to being in love with your customer.
But I suppose the point is that you need to look at things from the point of view of that customer and what they need.
So then you need to construct a risk-free offer. One that has no strings or obligations attached. A safety net that will make sure that new customer is not going to have a bad experience.
But then, coming back to the influencer, you really want to create an incentive that is customised for them.
So they can tell their contacts and audience that they’ve got a special deal or offer just for them.
The whole point of having a referral system in place is that you’re trying to make it easier for people to cross the chasm that stands in the way of them becoming your customer.
Everything you do in marketing is trying to bridge that chasm.
A referral, on the other hand, makes the gap smaller and easier for a prospect to step across.
So, if you don’t already have a working referral system in place make that one of your aims for the year ahead.