Is Your Small Business Kissable?

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Is your Small Business Kissable?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.

How do you get your referrals?

Share your tips or secrets below.

Article by

Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Dillard October 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Brad… Great post! I REALLY enjoyed how you wrote this and it all absolutely is true. Referrals are definitely the best and least expensive ways to get new clients and asking your clients for help vs. a referral makes so much sense. I always love to help people, but giving a referral has a total different feel to it.

Reply

Brad Harmon October 20, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Thanks Doug! Another tip that I have learned is to only ask referrals from customers that you like doing business with and pay well. I have found that your customers tend to refer people like themselves.

Just tell them that you are asking them because they are your very best customers and you love working with them. The referrals are almost guaranteed at that point.

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Dana@Online Knowledge October 21, 2009 at 2:50 am

My blog is surely a small business. So, i found this article also useful to build my blog for better state.

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Brad Harmon October 21, 2009 at 11:07 am

Great point Dana. This can work in the online and offline world. There are definitely a lot of frogs in the online world.

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Brad Harmon October 22, 2009 at 12:32 am

So many people look outside their business for new growth, but they overlook the gold mine they are already serving. It takes fewer conversions and costs less to get a 10% increase in sales from referrals than it does acquiring new customers through advertising.

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Jayce October 22, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I don't own any busines yet. But I will ask my friends to refer more traffic to my blog.
Nice article. ;)

Reply

Brad Harmon October 22, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Jayce,

Thank you very much! I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the plug too. I am always happy to have more readers. :)

Brad

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dejay1982 October 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Awesome post Brad. I like the way you structure your post. I am not sure if my blog is a business yet. My blog is still young and I have a lot of learning to do. Right now blogging is a hobby. I love to interact with different people and learn new things in the process. I truly enjoyed your post.

DJ

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Brad Harmon October 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Thank you for the kind comments. You are always learning new things when you blog. It is one of the things that makes it the most enjoyable for me. I learn so much from blog walking and reading the comments. Often I learn more from the comments than I do the original post which I am sure will happen here as well – at least I hope it does.

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Laurie Neumann November 12, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Great post, Brad. I was thinking something as I was reading it, and then saw that you referred to it in one of your responses, but I”ll say it anyway:-)

It's a good idea to ask your current clients for referrals, especially if you like working with them. There's a good chance they will refer other people who you will also like working with.

I appreciate and can (gulp) admit it is tempting to try to appear busier than you are, but you are right – it will send the wrong impression. People want someone who is busy, yes, but that still has time for them.

Thanks Brad.

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Brad Harmon November 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Thanks Laurie. Confession time – I actually lost a few clients when I started my CPA firm several years ago because I tried to appear like I was bigger and busier than I actually was. Being a home based business at the time, I wasn't aware that it was sending the wrong message to my clients.

The sad thing is that they were sincerely trying to help me out because they thought I was overworked and their accounts were small. They were HUGE to me at the time. It's not just prospects that we have to worry about telling how busy we are … I'm not sure this strategy ever helps to produce business.

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