Keep working for the referral


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I know a successful Denver web designer whose mantra is: “Keep working for the referral.” In other words, even after he gets the business, he continues to work hard to deliver a breathtaking design to his clients in order to delight them – and inspire their referrals.

But what impresses me even more about Jeff is that, when the business doesn’t go his way, he continues to keep working for the referral. He is intentional about keeping in contact with clients and subscribing to their e-newsletters and blogs, regularly adding value by chiming in with comments and ideas. He attends networking events where he’s likely to encounter these prospects, often leading to conversations about their web successes or challenges. He sends clients (as well as prospective clients who turned him down) a holiday card containing a personalized, handwritten note in order to foster relationships into the New Year.

Less effective businesspeople tend to marginalize the value of prospects that say “no” (under the assumption that only paying clients are valuable, worthy of their time and effort, and capable of offering referrals to grow their clientele).

While Jeff’s efforts are occasionally rewarded with web design projects, they’re regularly rewarded with referrals. In fact, the activities listed above constitute most of his annual marketing budget and account for the majority of his firm’s new client acquisition.

His example serves as a great reminder to me that, win or lose, always keep working for the referral.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Curtin
Steve Curtin is the author of Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary. He wrote the book to address the following observation: While employees consistently execute mandatory job functions for which they are paid, they inconsistently demonstrate voluntary customer service behaviors for which there is little or no additional cost to their employers. After a 20-year career with Marriott International, Steve now devotes his time to speaking, consulting, and writing on the topic of extraordinary customer service.


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