Naughty or nice – what difference does it make?

by Sandra Hart on December 24, 2012 · 0 comments

Multi-ethnic group portraitA couple of years ago my two young children were writing to Santa, they both asked for a surprise on their list. Santa came up with (what Mammy thought was) a lovely surprise for each of them, for Matthew a “Ben 10” blanket and for Katie a “Dora the Explorer” blanket, lovely snuggly cosy blankets…….. Mammy’s and Santa’s idea of a lovely surprise…..NOT as it turns out, so exciting for the kids! They had toys in mind!!

Two years have passed and letters have been written to Santa….none have since included even a sniff of a surprise, they are not willing to leave it up to chance EVER AGAIN! Santa is not to be trusted with surprises.  I am reminded at the kitchen table during the letter writing to Santa a few weeks ago of the blanket incident!! They are now very specific in their requests, which makes it very easy for Santa to get it right!!

So are you leaving your business opportunities to chance? Have you ever thought about this for your business, with your network and your referral partners! Tell them what you are after, be specific about the sort of clients you want to work with, and who you can give a far superior product or service to than many of your competitors. Most of all make it easy for those around you to be able to help you, be able to introduce you to the right contacts and be able to give you quality referrals.

How do you start this process? It’s easy, make a list, check it twice and find out who is naughty or nice!

I’m serious!!! Make a list, look at who you want to target, (Specific companies, people or types of people, make it easy for your referral partners to recognise) look at who you don’t want to work with, (maybe they take too long to make a decision, are too big for you to handle, have high costs associated with them or they are just plain bad payers) look back over it and prioritise your targets.

Once you have your list, formulate your presentations to help your referral partners to understand how you could serve these target clients better than your competitor, show them how you are unique and make it easy for them to use word of mouth marketing to recommend and refer you.

Remember referrals are not just for Christmas……if you have the right message and the right referral partners around you, and you make it easy for them, referrals come again and again right throughout the year!!!!

Sandra Hart
Sandra Hart runs BNI, Irelands leading business referral organisation, she trains and mentors members and leads a team who enable local business people to find new clients and generate new business. She is an expert on the topics of networking, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

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