I just finished reading the book ‘The Referral Engine‘ and I think its well worth a read. Even if you only use 1% of the ideas it will make a big difference to your business.
Here are some of my notes.
Define your perfect customer.
Keep your differences obvious to clients and prospective clients. E.g. Structured plan and teacher training.
People are geared to refer but it’s a risk. Reducing risk will make your business referees sing loud.
If the market place isn’t talking about you then you are boring.
Wearing a name tag makes you approachable like Ginsberg.
Business is a series of systems. Referrals are systems.
We need to ask for referrals.
Invest your time in to your current clients and they will refer new clients rather than using that time to be finding new clients.
Referrals are already sold and usually expect to pay a premium.
Use online tools to help your current students. Keep all new students in the communication loop creating extra privileges for those who full paying students.
Have a basic Membership fee subscription that gives them access to online tools and makes them feel part of a community.
Create exclusive clubs for students who have completed all 4 AMEB steps. Maybe a wall with their pics.
Create an online product where students can purchase a complete beginners pack that includes guitar plus lesson materials.
Map out the life of a student from marketing to referral.
Monitor how students refer us to others. How does the engine work?
Your name should tell people what you do. E.g. G4 Guitar Method.
Should direct your energy to the customers who are ideal for you. Describe your ideal customer. Build a profile around your best customers to date. The most profitable and those who refer the most.
Also write down who is not an ideal customer. Write a list.
Your customers should get one or more of the following.
Make money, save time, save energy, save money, feel good
People don’t talk about boring companies. Make sure you give people something to talk about.
People trust you more when they know your story. What’s your’s. Write it down and present it everywhere.
It’s the small things that get the best effects in referral marketing.
Book ‘word of mouth marketing’
“This is how we do it here” – stick to your processes and be the best at it. E.g. Answer their questions in a particular way and lead them to the same place every time”
By focusing on your ideal customers you will ultimately end up with the right customers and will be able to charge more.
Find your key indicators are the most important elements of a business. Where does profit come from, which customers are best, cash flow etc.
Raise the perceived value of your business and then raise the prices.
Talk in terms of what you do. E.g. ‘I teach/inspire people to play guitar the right way the first time’
Identify your mission. ‘we help people to both learn the skills of guitar and the psychology of staying focused and motivated’