BECOMING HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
May 16, 2010 Angela Foreman-Bobier, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant
Relationships are paramount in building a business. Thank yourself for attending the HBBA meeting today because this will be the start of new business relationships.
Remember Woody Allen’s old adage: “Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.”
Showing up counts. The more often you show up, the more visible you become, and the more people will get to know you and recognize you.
You need to give people the opportunity to get to know you, like you, and trust you. And even more important is becoming active in a group. When you volunteer, people learn how you work—they’ll learn that you are dependable and contribute innovative ideas—and you’ll begin to develop strong, trusting relationships.
Those relationships will turn into clients and better yet, referrals for your business.
A well executed referral program shortens the sales process by at least 30% – and converts at least 50% (usually 70% to 90%) of prospects into clients. They’re presold. No other sales and marketing strategy even comes close to these results.
Happy clients are a prerequisite for generating referrals. It’ll be like a virtual sales force out there selling for you. So take excellent care of the current clients you have.
Relying on good service and word of mouth will get you nowhere fast. You have to make referrals a core part of your sales and marketing plan.
How many of you ask for referrals? Why don’t you ask for referrals?
Let’s get your referrals rolling in. Ask and you shall receive. START ASKING.
Here are some ideas to start generating referrals.
Spend time daily reaching out to clients. Schedule this in your calendar. Send thank you, birthday, anniversary cards. The secret to building a referral business is being in constant contact.
Constant Contact does not mean BE PUSHY. Don’t always talk about your business or ask for sales. Constant Contact needs to be customer focussed. What are they interested in? Send a magazine article or newspaper clipping.
System #1, target your existing customers-Send a postcard to all of your existing clients, telling them, “We appreciate you and your business. To thank you we are offering 10% [you decide on the percentage here that works for you] off of your next visit for referrals you make to us when that referral becomes a new client. You could actually have our services for FREE for referring 10 people that buy from us.” NOTE: I will occasionally go up to 25% or even 50% with a special thank you-and the referrals go through the roof!! Why would I be willing to spend THAT much to acquire a customer? Because I expect that customer to become a repeat customer and buy a considerable amount over time.
You can also change the offer to be cash. “We’ll pay you $__ [fill in the blank] for every new customer you generate for us.”
System #2-Target the neighbourhood, or businesses in the chamber, etc. “A special offer to our friends at [the chamber, on our block, etc.] [make them the same offer as above]
System #3–Put the referral cards out on your counter where every customer can pick up more to refer more.
System #4–Send the referral cards to the local business owners, encouraging them to pass them out to every employee as an added benefit for their employees.
Hand out 5 business cards to each person and have clients write their name on the back. Ask them to hand them out. Anyone who contacts you, they will get _____ for the referral.
Make up a short survey and give current clients 5, 10, or even 20 surveys to have people they know fill them out. Give them $1 in free product or service for every one they get completely filled out. Include the key question: Would you give us your opinion of our skin care at a free appointment? Yes No
You need to know if there is any interest in your product or service. Call everyone to thank them for filling it out.
Mary Kay Cosmetics Survey
Are you currently using a Skin Care Program? Yes No What brand do you use? __________________
Would you say your skin is: ___ Dry, dry, dry ___ Not too dry and not too oily ___ Oily in the T-Zone ___ Oily all over
Have you ever had a Mary Kay facial, pedicure, or colour makeover? Yes No
Do you currently have a Mary Kay Consultant you are buying products from? Yes No
Would you give us your opinion of our skin care at a free appointment? Yes No
(If Yes) Are daytime, evening, or weekend better for you? Day Evening Weekend
Would you be more comfortable having your facial alone, with 2 friends, with 5 friends?
Alone 2 Friends 5 Friends
Name: ____________________________ Address: __________________________ Day Phone: ________________________
Night Phone: _______________________ Cell Phone: ________________________ E-mail: ___________________________
Play a game at your party to get referrals. Example: Gift of Friendship or Every time you talk about a product in your line have them write down 1 person they think would enjoy using it. Most referrals gets a small gift.
Recruiting: Talent Scout – $50 in free product to the hostess when someone at her party becomes a MK consultant with 24 hours of her party. $50 in free product for anyone you refer to me who becomes an active MK Beauty Consultant, $500 CASH when they become one of my offspring Sales Directors.
Use a database to track everything.
Start the process of generating referrals from Day One. Mention them during the initial consultation. Don’t ask your client for referrals out of the clear blue. Let them know well ahead of time that you work from referrals and will be asking for them.
Every point of contact mentions referrals including your email signature, cards, phone calls. Get used to saying “Who do you know….?” One of the biggest compliments someone can give you as a business owner is a referral.
SCRIPT: “One of my goals is to share all of my services with new people. Can you think of at least 2 people that you know (friends, colleagues, neighbors) that I could contact to see if they are familiar with my company and if so, to see if they know how to contact someone in case they are interested?”
—-When you know how to handle rejection skillfully, you are more than likely to ask for introductions. When they say they don’t know anyone, they aren’t saying they don’t know anyone forever – just right now. The goal of this dialogue is comfort – make them feel comfortable after they just said “no”.
“Thank you for thinking about it. Now that we have talked, chances are you may notice people who need my help. Would you be comfortable if I checked back with you in 30 days to see if anyone comes to mind?”
It’s ok if they initially say no. It’s your job to bring it into their awareness and to make them feel good. And you can make them feel good by helping the people that they care about. —–
A no cost idea is to setup Google alert on a client-friendly topic and forward interesting tidbits to show your interest in them or their business. This morning I set up to receive a daily email about new web contact on the search terms skin care, cosmetics, and makeup.
When you send cards use a nice label that says “I am never too busy for your referrals” and include your business card in everything. Deborah Wall, realtor, does this with her thank you cards.
When a client forwards a name, even if it does not pan out, send a thank you note for the referral.
PUT IT INTO ACTION Write tactics and goals into your sales plan.
Devise a weekly plan that includes a list of client contacts and set aside time to hit the phones. Start having genuine conversations with clients about how you want to build your business. The idea is to remind your fans why they should refer you. And to avoid false leads, provide examples of the people or companies you want to be referred to.
Example: I’m in qualification in May & June to become a Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics which is our management position. I’m looking for 18 women I can mentor to move up into a management position in the next 18 months. Women over age 18, in Canada, who are looking to make extra income alongside their work and family activities. These women must be willing to learn, must like people, and are interested in helping women look great and feel great. Any one you refer to me who becomes an active consultant will result in you getting $50 in free products and any women who becomes one of my offspring Sales Directors will get you $500 CASH. Who do you know?
Write down what these people look like, including demo/info on them on a 1-page doc:
3. Income/net worth
5. Own a house/car
7. Children or no children
The key to referrals is to get an introduction. Ask your client to make the initial call or facilitate a mutual email introduction or an in person introduction.
Make it easy for clients to give referrals. Ask clients how they wish to proceed, whether you should take the person’s name and number or wait for an introduction.
Reach out by phone. Chances are you’ll get voice mail so have a 30 second script mentioning the referring client and suggesting a time you’ll be available to take their call. If you don’t hear back right away, follow up by email.
Keep the source of the referral in the loop so they know what’s going on and will feel comfortable giving more referrals.
Don’t underestimate the value of a handwritten note. 5 simple words, “How can I help you?” are a smart way to say thanks and pave the way for future discussion.
No need for flashy gifts. Ongoing gestures like party invitations and annual calendars. Clients who generate substantial business deserve something extra special.
1. Rewards programs. Give prizes/discounts/points for every referral. Points are nice since you can encourage multiple references and allow people to redeem points for free or discounted services with you, building repeatcustomers.
2. Useful info. Provide a newsletter filled with fun, funny, useful information (NOT corporate stuff or sales pitches) and encourage customers to share it with friends and colleagues. Of course, you will have a single, effective sales/discount/introductory pitch in the newsletter. Monthly or quarterly newsletter with your entire contact list. One page is best.
3. Discount coupons. Give each customer three coupons, with their name/ID# on them (so they can’t redeem the coupons themselves). The coupons will give new customers a discount on your services, so the existing customer is doing a nice favour for their colleagues or clients by giving these out.
4. Ask. You’d be amazed how willing happy clients are to refer you to other people. It should be part of your standard closing with happy clients to request that they let others know about their good experience.
5. Make it easy. Provide postage-paid postcards they can sign and drop in the mail to friends. Send them a well-designed e-mail outlining their savings/value that they can simply forward to people they think might be interested.
6. Find out who your client knows–what organizations they belong to, where they used to work, where they go to church, etc. And find people in those places you want to be referred to and ask specifically if your client can refer you to them
REMEMBER: ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. START ASKING!!!!!