Marketing has been defined as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services.” Essentially, it is any activity that lets your clients know that you exist … it is how you get on their RADAR.
As regular readers of my various writings will know, in relation to service providers, I frequently rattle on about “getting on your referrers’ radar” … and recently, this got me thinking about just how to expand on this concept, because I do believe it is so important to your business. So … I put my thinking cap on and came up with an acronym based on that key word RADAR (which I know is already an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging, but bear with me on this) …
R – ecognition – referrers need to recognize you/your business as a service that could benefit their clients
A – vailability – referrers need to know that you are available to service this need for their clients
D – eliver – referrers need to know that you can deliver this service
A – ppropriate – referrers need to know that your service is an appropriate one to meet their clients’ needs
R – efer - referrers need to know how to refer their clients to you.
How can you ensure you meet all of these points? That is the point of your marketing message to your potential referrers. Your marketing message needs to clearly answer each of these points if you are going to be in the running for that new referral.
But telling your potential referrer that you do meet that need once only is not enough! Too many talking professionals I work with tell me that they send out their brochure or whatever to a potential referrer … and leave it at that! I’m sorry, but that is not going to be enough: you need to repeat the message with sufficient frequency that you maintain a high level of visibility with them and become a fixture on their RADAR.
That doesn’t mean that you bombard them with calls or vague emails.
No. You start by introducing your service – this can be via direct contact, written materials, presentations, or however else you can get your name in front of them. This introduction needs to include a clear outline of the services that you are offering to them and their clients that makes explicit what you do, where and when you do it, and how what you do fits their needs.
Once you’ve introduced your service to them (and bear in mind that a direct contact on some level is most useful, so work to achieve that where you can), follow-up contacts should expand on this and serve to start to build a relationship with them.
When you connect again, you need to make sure that you have something to share with them, whether this is a call with an update on a current client, an email with an announcement about a new service that you offer (with an explanation as to how this might benefit their clients) or even a link to an article that you think they might find interesting.
Keep it relatively short, fresh and relevant, but keep in touch. By doing so, you’ll maintain a raised profile with them so that, when they next encounter a client whose needs could be met by your services, their R.A.D.A.R will “ping” and yours will be the number they reach for!
For more ideas about how to grow your business, check out my Business Breakthrough Programme and learn how Mirror Coaching can help systematise your marketing to maximise your referrals.