What do potential customers see when they look at your small business? What is it that differentiates you from your competitors?
Prospecting for new clients reminds me of the fairy-tale where the princess is seeking her prince among the frogs.
Imagine for a moment that you are that prince.
The princess comes to the pond and you think to yourself, “Finally, it is about time.” After all, you are the prince and the rest of these frogs are … well, they are just frogs.
It’s then that you notice your princess has scooped up one of these frogs and is about to plant a kiss on him. You jump up and down and start croaking as loudly as you can, but the other frogs quickly follow your lead.
If the thought of having to kiss all those frogs to find her prince wasn’t overwhelming to the princess before – it sure is now.
So how do you get potential customers to see that you are the prince among the frogs?
Word of Mouth Referrals
What if, when the princess had walked down to the pond, one of her closest friends scooped you up out of the water and presented you saying, “This is your prince?” Can you imagine the princess saying, “No thanks, I will just kiss random frogs?”
So many times we overlook the most effective and least expensive form of advertising – the word of mouth referral. Being referred to prospects by your existing customers is powerful. It instantly singles you out among all the frogs and gives you instant credibility.
Will You Be Mine? Ask for Referrals.
If this is so powerful then why don’t more small business owners utilize it? Quite frankly, most of the time we think that our customers love us so much that they will just do it on their own.
In reality, we usually don’t know what the customer thinks about us because we have never asked.
As a small business owner, you must constantly seek feedback on how you are doing from your customers.
This can be done through surveys, follow up phone calls, thank you cards, or just talking with them in the normal course of business.
It’s a great opportunity to ask those customers that really love you to refer their friends and family to you.
Don’t ask for referrals - ask them for their help. People love to help. It sounds so much better than referring someone.
I Didn’t Know You Were Dating
We have to be careful as small business owners not to send the wrong message to our existing customers. Often, in an attempt to look larger than we are, we don’t admit that we need more business.
Many of our existing clients would be happy to refer people to us had they known we were on the market. Don’t be too busy trying to look successful. It may backfire on you.
The other mistake that we make is telling people how busy we are so that it appears that we are more successful. I did this a lot in my first business – even when I was starting out and had no clients!
Who wants to refer their friends to someone that does not have time for them?
And They Lived Happily Ever After
The easiest way to become kissable is to create kiss-and-tell customers. Rather than spending all your time jumping up and down croaking at the top of your lungs to attract new customers, use that time to develop a better relationship with your existing ones.
Make sure that they are happy by asking them. Don’t come across as too self-absorbed or busy to take on new clients. Ask them for their help.