If you have been rendering service as a business for 2 years and above,
Referral does not give you up to 40% of your total revenue…
Then you’re doing something wrong.
So listen up. I’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong in a jiffy.
But first …
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have consulted for over the years think the essence of their being in business is just to make money.
Sure, no business can survive without the inflow of capital. Let’s not deceive ourselves. The moment your business stops making good money to sustain it, the business starts to die.
So, maximizing your profit is very important. But is that really the essence of setting up your business?
I don’t think so.
Many struggling small business owners I have spoken and strategized with over time all had one thing in common:
They all went after the money.
In the process, they neglect a critical aspect of their business which in fact, is the bedrock of any solid business today.
It is what actually distinguishes real entrepreneurs from normal business owners.
It is also the same reason why two people who are into the same business makes different amounts of money at the end of the day. It is the reason why A can make #50,000 at the end of a month and B makes #500,000 at the end of the same month; yet they are into the same line of business.
So you’re asking yourself: what is this distinguishing factor I’m taking about?
It is called PROVIDING VALUE!!!
Value is the foundation upon which any business should stand if the business wants to stand the test of time.
I’m amazed everytime I see entrepreneurs getting this basic fact wrong. You shouldn’t even be in business if you don’t know this.
Any customer reaching out to you wants to be sure you can provide her with adequate value.
See, we are humans. Nobody wants to just spend their hard earned money for the sake of spending it. They must be sure they are getting value for it
Even those people spending on what we assume to be frivolities. To them, they ain’t spending on frivolities. They’re getting value by keeping up with the Joneses. This point might not be clear to you but it isn’t the essence of this article either…so let’s leave it at that.
A seller reached out to me the other day on Facebook and started marketing some good to me. So I asked her a simple question: “there are lots of sellers on Facebook selling the same thing you’re selling. Why should I buy from you?”
I kid you not, but she couldn’t answer this question satisfactorily. Of course you already know what happened. I didn’t buy from her. Not that I was going to buy anyway. I don’t usually buy on impulse. But if she had convinced me enough, maybe I would have changed my mind. ..just maybe.
Value is the blood of any business. Without value flowing through the veins of your business, the business won’t last for long. Even if it does, you’ll probably remain a small business all your life with no potential for growth.
If you ain’t growing in business, then why are you slaving everyday?
The simple way to improve your company or business revenue is to provide Value. That way, you’ll get lots of referrals.
By the way, referral simply means a satisfied prospect or customer telling another about your business and getting them to patronize you.
With each satisfied customer, you have unconsciously gained ten more customers, as they will sing your praise. This registers with people, whether consciously or subconsciously.
You shouldn’t be battling with cash flow problems a lot if you have been in business for years. If you do, then check your value system…you are not doing something right.
So quickly, in what ways can you provide or improve your value system in order to boost referral and make money?
Here are a few tips for you:
- Go The Extra Mile for Your Customers, Subscribers and Prospects: this applies to every business you run, no matter the model.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a brick and mortal business or you’re doing your thing online. You must go the extra mile for people.
This is how you build trust with them. Once you build trust with people, they will trust you enough to give you their money.
So don’t worry that the person has not patronized you yet. Go out of your way to render the help necessary.
I do that a lot. I build trust with clients. I show them the way; what they are doing wrong and the things they could be doing right. That way, I don’t even have to beg them to patronize me…they come to me naturally.
Anytime I see an online vendor begging people to patronize her business, I just squelch in disgust. That’s very low! Don’t do that.
Go out of your way to help and build trust with them, and you have done over 40% of the job. You see how easy it is?
Yet you wonder why people get it damn wrong every time.
- Improve Your Customer Support Experience: it doesn’t matter what stage your business is, every operating business has a support system…whether formal or otherwise.
What makes you a good entrepreneur with potential to grow is that you listen to feedbacks from customers to gauge how satisfied they are with your services…where not satisfied, you look at and implement improvement strategies.
A good entrepreneur doesn’t shush her customers up. If you do, they will run to town and speak bad about your business to every listening ear.
You know what that means? The reputation of your business will be hit! Nobody wants to do business with a person they can’t trust.
Once people no longer trust you to serve their interests, they will leave you alone and look for somebody who can.
Therefore, improving your customer support system means constantly evolving and developing positive ideas to keep your business relevant.
A few years back, Nokia was running the show. Today in 2020, Nokia is insignificant, almost nonexistent. What happened? Lack of good enough innovation to keep them relevant as the tech world kept evolving.
That’s what you don’t want to happen to your business.
Size of your business doesn’t matter, really. Even if you are selling accessories under the bridge at Oshodi, you should have a support experience structure, no matter how informal it may be.
Although if yours is an organized business, I will encourage you to make it as formal as possible. This will build up trust from your customers.
- Build Relationships with People: nobody is a lone ranger in life, especially an entrepreneur.
If there is something you must know how to do… it is to know how to build relationships with people, no matter how introverted you may think you are.
Relate well with people generally, irrespective of whether they patronize your business or not.
You never can tell the kind or quality of referral you’ll get from people at any point in time…so its a no-brainer to remain in their conscious and even subconscious.
Personally, I will do business with anybody with good rapport who has built a good relationship with me. Not just me. That’s what over 80% of people will do also.
This is why you have all the formal businesses on social media, with quick customer services, attending to the needs and yearnings of customers and non-customers alike.
You should try it also.
- Show Appreciation: this should be the golden rule for every human being and business alive.
Learn to show appreciation. People appreciate it when you show that you noticed the little things they have done right and you’re saying thank you for it.
That will make them to do more for you. On the other hand, if you don’t, there won’t be a next time…and they may even discourage other people from patronizing you.
What’s the effect of this?
Your business will begin its journey to death simply because you are not making enough cashflow through referrals which you could have simply achieved by a little act of showing appreciation.
…and it’s not even something complex. A simple “thank you” does the magic.
Yet I see entrepreneurs getting it wrong all the time…it’s baffling, really.
- Celebrate Milestone: every serious business owner should have a target for the business: what she wants to achieve at every point in time.
Once that has been achieved, what next? You set a new target and starts striving to reach it too.
That’s how you grow. That’s what the billionaires of this world do. You don’t get too comfortable with your present achievement. Although you should celebrate and be grateful for it.
The simple truth is that if you don’t celebrate milestones and set new goals, you will remain stagnant. Once you are, a more serious business in the same line will overtake you and relegate you to the background…
Now, you don’t want that, do you?
- Improve Your Formal Referral: the last nugget I will give is that as a business owner, you should strive to make the process of your business referral to become formal.
This gives people a sense of self worth and they want to go extra mile to make your business succeed.
For instance, real estate companies in Lagos now have referral programs where they pay commissions to anybody who refers another customer. Because of the monetary incentive, people now take it upon themselves to refer people to these companies. In fact, it has become a full time job for some people.
Not just real estate companies. Many companies have adopted this revenue generating strategy… And it is working.
Isn’t that not the bedrock of the business model called affiliate marketing? Many companies now run affiliate marketing programs, and they’re making fortunes from these programs.
People already have the notion that your company is trustworthy to a certain degree, once your referral program is formalized. And of course, everybody needs money. So they will go out to get people you don’t even know and may have never met in your life, to patronize you.
Thereby helping you to fulfill the core mandate of your business, which is to keep generating enough revenues to survive.
These are simple nuggets that everybody in business or aspiring to do business should know.
Yet I am amazed when I see entrepreneurs getting these basics wrong all the time … And they end up struggling unnecessarily.