Blog Ramblings

How to Ask for Referrals in the Professional Services Industry

Posted by Kimberly Hughes | April 25, 2016


You’ve heard the adage time and time again – “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While I don’t agree with this statement 100%, there is validity in the importance of who you know. So, rest easy – the art of how to ask for referrals is not about being connected to the top 1% of executives in your community; you simply need to help others.

Yes, I said it. You have to help others.

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Topics: Referral marketing

Why Getting Testimonials May Be Difficult

Posted by Dan Kraus | October 15, 2013


All consumers, business or personal, go through the process of getting to know, like, and trust your organization or team before they will try your products/services and buy from you. Testimonials and case studies from your current clients are a key component in building trust. If you are having a difficult time getting testimonials, it may be time to do a little digging to see what is really going on with your organization.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Referral marketing, Testimonials

Why Are You Leaving Your Prospect’s Business Card on the Table?

Posted by Dan Kraus | September 11, 2013


This is a guest post from our friend Randy Collins at Strategies Group

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Topics: Referral marketing, Linked-In, Tactics

Pandering to Your Audience for Viral Discussions and Testimonials

Posted by leadingresults | September 8, 2013


Sometimes, we all like to be catered to - targeted very specifically.  When I was at Gen-Con 2013, a great example of this was from Noodles and Company that made special coupons disguised as Magic the Gathering cards.

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Topics: advertising, Referral marketing, content marketing, Packaging, Marketing

How Well Do You Know Your Perfect Customer?

Posted by leadingresults | September 2, 2013


First, let’s define perfect customer. The concept of a perfect customer is pretty simple – they are the ones, that if you could get enough of them, it would rock your year. They are profitable; they value your knowledge, experience and you as a vendor partner and they refer you. They are the people you love to do business with. As Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, we call them ideal customers.

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Topics: Referral marketing, content marketing, strategy, Marketing, Sales

Connections, connections everywhere, and not a one to pitch

Posted by leadingresults | July 8, 2013


“I have over 6,000 linked-in connections!” 

I met a small business owner this week who made the previous boast.  And yet later in the same conversation he lamented how it seems that for all the hard work he's done in developing his LinkedIn network, it really isn't helping him develop any real connections or sales opportunities.

And this is where today’s discussion of social networks will start.

We, as humans, can really only maintain up to about 250 active social connections at one time- and even fewer (less than 15) as our “immediate tribe or family”. As soon as you are over that number, you have what are termed “Facebook friends”  Not people on the proverbial Christmas card list, but people who you know of, and know of you. We do not however think of our Facebook friends regularly or first when we look to make referrals and introductions- they simply aren’t and can’t be top of mind.

This is also, by the way, why weekly referral groups like BNI can be much more effective than monthly chamber of commerce type events.

So our business owner with 6,000 Linked in connections, it seems to me, may not have any real connections at all.   What they do have is an advertising platform to attempt to reach and connect with people who have connected with him… likely to do the exact same thing! (connect without connecting!)

This is a perfect example of a very broad network-  lots of very weak connections.

How should they use that social media platform?

Two answers:

1) As a content based advertising platform following the 10:4:1 rule of thumb:

  • 10: Re-broadcasting 10 pieces of other people’s content relevant or interesting content to your connections (content that reinforces who you are/what you believe).
  • 4: Initiating and promoting 4 pieces of your content that you’ve created/written/had commissioned/etc.
  • 1: One direct sales promotional piece that is a direct promotional offer.

If you generate a ton of content, you can start to exchange the 10/4 numbers.  I’d start to define a ‘ton’ of content when you are producing at least 30 pieces of content a month.

2) As an introduction engine:   I’m looking for a _________ to connect with ___________.
Being at the center of a pleasant introduction can significantly ‘deepen’ the connection with both of the people.  We, of course, like people that help us, and that we help.  If said business owner started listening for referral/introduction opportunities, they can have a much better shot of quickly deepening those connections.

So what are you doing with the social connections you have built? Or have you been holding off building the connections because you didn't know what to do?  We're happy to help you figure out how to use social channels in your business development mix.  Give us a ring or drop us an email.

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Topics: Lead Generation, B-to-B Marketing, Referral marketing, content marketing, Linked-In, Social media, Sales

Gaining repeat customer sales – Six quick tips

Posted by Dan Kraus | June 15, 2013


Let me start this post with a story of what not to do. Actually, let me “play” you the conversation that occurred with the inside sales rep of one of my vendors.  I have had this product for 18 months and this is the first call I have gotten from them. I am going to leave all names out of this (after all, I do still have a relationship with them and do want it for now).

Phone rings: “ Dan Kraus, how can I help you”

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Topics: Referral marketing, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales

Seven tips I’ve learned for gathering video testimonials

Posted by leadingresults | June 11, 2013


Here are seven tips I picked up, mostly through trial and error, as well as talking to photographers and videographers.

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Topics: Referral marketing, Testimonials, video

Testimonial Examples

Posted by Laura Lorenz | June 7, 2013


We are often asked “what makes a good testimonial”?  So, this post will endeavor to help you with just that. (you can also download our testimonial worksheet to guide you read through this)

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Topics: Referral marketing, Testimonials, strategy, Customer Service

CRM Systems are not a Magic Bullet for Business Development

Posted by leadingresults | May 31, 2013


As a CRM consultant for over 10 years, I learned that the main reason that companies would implement CRM was to get to know their customers better and increase sales and marketing effectivness. What stumped me the most is that companies would spend a ton of money on a CRM system and training, and then not really use it. Most companies have hundreds or thousands of contacts in their database but not really much engagement with those people.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Referral marketing, Customer Service, Sales