Cutting waste and making sure every single pound spent on marketing gives a return is essential for small business survival at present. But not all marketing costs money. Here’s the ‘ultimate’ free path to more profits.
Swanage, Dorset, UK, May 1, 2009 - For many small business owners, the current poor economy means spending money on marketing has stopped.
But, "Profitable marketing is the last thing that should stop," says Henry Baker, Dorset based marketing expert. "Without a steady flow of new customers things will just get worse," he continues. However, not all customer acquisition campaigns cost money.
The best free marketing strategy is simply referrals.
Here is a simple 4 step system any small business can use to maximize their referrals.
1. ASK - As we all know, ‘if you don't ask, you won't get' and that is certainly true for referrals. Most customers are happy to provide referrals if the service has been good. And if it hasn't, that needs to be fixed anyway. The best time to ask is immediately after a ‘happy' purchase.
2. Set the Right Expectations - From the moment you acquire a new customer you should make it clear that you rely on referrals to keep your costs and prices down. To facilitate that you will be asking for referral contacts if they are happy with your service.
3. Reward - When you receive a referral make sure you go back the person who made it and give them a gift to thank them e.g. a box of chocolates, something you sell etc. This will both increase that person loyalty to you and make future referrals much more likely.
4. Follow Up - Once you have a new referral make sure you follow up with them quickly. Be sure to mention where you got there name (having asked if that's OK), and give them something physical to pass on to other people. That may be vouchers, offer cards, sample etc.
In conclusion, now is the time to focus attention on existing customers and clients. There is more profit buried in their than most businesses would know what to do with.
Mr.Baker is available for interview, articles and the right speaking engagements and can be contacted on 01929 427744. Mr. Baker has over 10 years of sales and marketing experience with some of the World's leading corporate sales organizations, as an entrepreneur, business owner, real estate investor and internationally respected trainer and educator. He has directly helped over 900 small business owners grow their businesses and tens of thousands more via his business growth tips and secrets.