The Best Lead and Referral Generation Tool Is . . .

I suspect I’ve uttered the sentiment in the image below several thousand times over the past few years.


It sounds so simple, but it isn’t always easy. The greatest way to generate more referrals is to be more referable. The greatest way to generate more leads is to give your customers something to talk about. The greatest way to build a business is focus more energy on conversion and fulfillment than you do on creating awareness.


Few things sell better than teaching. Make it not only part of your marketing, make it part of your culture. Teach your people, teach your customers, teach your industry. When you become a education resource to your entire community you’ll become the company of obvious choice.


When you get a new customer teach them how everything works, who in your organization they’ll want to know and how to get more out of what you’ve agreed upon. Tell them what you’re working on for them, how their order is doing, when it will ship, why it will be late, when they can expect to get a new model and pretty much anything you can think of at least two or three times.


Plan to surprise your customers in a good way. Few things get people talking more than a fun surprise. And the good news is we do it so infrequently that it’s just not that hard to do. Find someone in your organization, you know the one, and give them huge leeway in terms of creatively surprising your customers.


Throw something in that they didn’t order, let them have samples from your strategic partners, ship early, ship free, do more than you said you would. Doing what you promised might actually exceed some people’s expectation, but it’s funny how complacent our customers can become when we merely do what was expected. Shake it up on purpose.


Are you measuring the results your customers are actually getting? Make it a point, no a process, to go back to every client and get some form of measurement. Are they thrilled, get a testimonial. Are they so-so, figure out how to improve. Are they unhappy, fix it! Any of these results are better than simply wondering or hoping.


Today, go order some simple thank you cards and start writing thank you notes to everyone that’s helping you build your dream into an empire.

I’ve just released a new free eBook that delves deeper into this topic and the subject of trust and referral building.

It’s called How to Build a Referral Engine, it’s free and I invite you to check it out here.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Christelle

    Thanks for the eBook, I’m actually reading your book at the moment on the same subject, so I’m curious, what is in the eBook, a summary of the book, new information?

    • ducttape

      Probably would call it a summary of some of the specifics you’ll find in the book, but a quick, actionable read as well.

  • Ravi Shukle

    Thanks John, this looks incredible will be sure to take a look over this in the week. Look forward to getting stuck in and feeding back to you.

  • Richard Burns

    But only if you ASK. The happiest customer in the world is not going to do a thing unless you #1 – educate them on what type of customer you want them to refer #2 – ASK them early and often for referrals to that type of prospect

  • Shily-Virtual Office Assistant

    Understanding how and when customers are engaging with your company is critical for establishing more meaningful connections with them. So we need to educate our customers and also surprise them. Great post John.

  • Nilesh

    Asking for feedback at every milestone or delivery gives you an opportunity to remind the customer about what was expected and make them think about what/how you delivered (Measure) on your promise. These conversations are also a good time to remind kind of work/customers you are looking for.