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How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 6

This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.

Joseph Jaffe

Joseph Jaffe is President of jaffe, LLC. His popular blog and audio podcast, “Jaffe Juice”, provides daily and weekly commentary respectively on all things new marketing. His latest book, “Flip the Funnel: How to use existing customers to gain new ones,” presents a powerful hypothesis that retention can become the new acquisition through the strategic incorporation and elevation of customer service, customer experience and customer initiated word-of-mouth, content creation and incentive-based referrals.

How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 6

Want more leads for the top of your funnel? Then perhaps you want to take a step back and think about WHY you needed those leads in the first place. Did you not have enough customers to begin with? Or perhaps you just didn’t convince them to spend enough….keep coming back for more….and tell others about it. Or perhaps you just lost them – through poor customer experience, service or support, or just plain apathy (being forgotten)

Unless you’re a new business without a very short track record, getting new leads is really not your problem at all. Your real problem is churn. Attrition. You lose customers and try and constantly try and replace them with new blood. You are addicted to acquisition as you cast out that wide net, which just happens to be full of holes.
And you’re not alone.

But what would happen if, instead of ending with the sales conversation; the new customer, you began with the customer purchase? What would happen if you focused on the 20% of your customers responsible for 80% of your revenue? What would happen if you rewarded and recognized your lifeblood instead of wooing imperfect strangers or first time buyers with a slew of deals, discounts , special offers and/or coupons?

Would they pay it forward in return?

If Community 1.0 and 2.0 were the buzzwords of the original digital and more recent social media waves, then advocacy is going to be the next wave that crests and breaks on the shores of marketing engagement and innovation. Using existing customers to gain new ones by proving that retention is the new acquisition is a whole new paradigm that goes back to the future in order to demonstrate that word-of-mouth is most influential and credible when it comes from the hearts and minds of actual customers.

This is ultimately how a small, growing or even larger business can grow its revenue, customer and content base from the inside out by adding new leads to the traditional funnel without necessarily having to sacrifice any on the back end.

It’s good business sense. It’s common sense. And it’s a surefire way to add substantial dollars and cents to your top line growth and bottom line profitability.

Read the rest of today’s mystery posts here

The Referral Engine Launch Day Bonus

Note: When an author launches a new book (well, at least this author) it’s kind of a big personal deal. So, I know I’ve been a bit commercial of late in promotion of my new book, but the good news is today is launch day so regular old thoughts on helping your grow your business to return. Thanks for your patience, trust and support.

The Referral EngineMy new book, The Referral Engine – Teaching Your Business To Market Itself is finally available to ship! In fact, the online retailers are blowing it out at as low as 55% off during the launch. Go to The Referral Engine book site for details.

The buzz for the book online has been tremendous and the reviews over the top positive. To continue the momentum I want to make you an offer to take action today. I have a library of incredible interviews available exclusively to those who buy my new book today.

Here’s the deal -

The book has received praise from the following thought and business leaders in the form of a blurb on the book’s jacket.

As a bonus for purchasing today you’ll receive audio recordings of the interviews I did with each. These are not pitches for the book, these are deep conversations about their thoughts on marketing and business.

  • Chris Brogan, coauthor of Trust Agents
  • Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
  • Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Alltop
  • David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
  • Bob Burg, coauthor of The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More
  • Marcy Shinder, vice president, American Express OPEN

I addition I’ve included double bonus interviews from some of the people you’ll meet in the book who also know a thing or two about referrals.

  • Ivan Misner, founder of BNI
  • Stephen MR Covey, author of The Speed of Trust
  • Scott Ginsberg, The Nametag Guy
  • Zingermans Community of Businesses, a chat with Ari and Mo

That’s 11 interviews in all with some folks I consider the brightest minds in marketing today.

Order today and send a copy of your receipt to [email protected] and you’ll receive your special link to download or listen to this entire library.

Go to The Referral Engine book site to choose your favorite online retailer – you can also send me the receipt from an offline retailer to qualify as well.

Thanks for all your support, you truly inspire me.

Building Your Referral Engine – Free Webinar with the Referral A-Team

As part of the Make a Referral Week 2010 Education Series I am highlighting the power of referrals and word of mouth marketing with a live event featuring the some of the brightest authors, speakers and thought leaders on the subject of referral marketing.

Join us for a live web discussionWednesday, March 10th at Noon CST. Click here to register for the online seminar.

Ivan MisnerBob BurgBen McConnell

Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and author of The 29% Solution, Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals and the Go-Givers Sell More, and Ben McConnell, co-author Creating Customer Evangelists make up a panel of what may be the worlds greatest single collection of thought leaders on the subject of referrals and word of mouth.

Join us for a live web discussionWednesday, March 10th at Noon CSTClick here to register for the online seminar.

The conference is the headline event of the educational component of Make a Referral Week. More info on the entire week can be found here. Have you made your referral yet? Do it here

What Really Generates Referrals

So much of the literature on the subject of referrals focuses on the proper ways to network, ask for referrals, and create incentive programs for referral sources. While some of these more tactical things do indeed produce referrals for the organizations and salespeople that employ them, they are often little more than window dressing when it comes to the big picture.

Building a foundation that automatically generates referral momentum is not done through external actions – like some many things in life, you do it from the inside out. Plain and simple the most widely referred business are purely more referable.

I’ve studied a lot of businesses that easily generate referrals and they share some common internal tendencies as part of their brand and culture.

Make people look good

Looking at all business relationships with an eye on making prospects, customers, vendors, mentors, and staff look and feel good is a tremendously attractive internal quality. I read this quote recently and I think it works well here – “To a large degree, our success and happiness in life depends on how much people like themselves when they’re with us.” Joe Caruso

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Ivan Misner, Bob Burg and Bill Cates on Making Referrals

This is a special Make a Referral Week 2009 Session

Ivan MisnerBob BurgBill Cates

The Referral A-Team consisting of Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver and Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now! joined me for a live web conference yesterday to talk about, what else, referrals.

You may listen to the session here (1h:15m)

You may download the session here

We covered a lot of ground and the tweets were flying as well – follow twitter thread here

Some of my favorite nuggets

  • small business is the economic engine that can pull our country out of the recession
  • In referring, you’re not trying to close a sale, you’re trying to train a sales force
  • Stimulate referrals by educating people on how referrals work and how you handle referrals
  • Time confidence curve= the level trust needed to receive referrals depends on business. High (financial adv) low (florist)
  • strategic alliances are not formed by speed dating – proactively support each other
  • you should be getting at least 20% of your referrals passively, without you asking -they know, like, trust you and refer
  • Must rely actively on network, strategic partners and clients together to build referrals. Not on clients alone
  • Women give referrals twice as often as men
  • Most people lack a *process* for harvesting their network. Process replaces the fear of asking for referrals
  • Trust is the ultimate root and source of our influence. Influence is everything

Hope you join us by making your referral now at Make a Referral Week – just tell us who you referred and why and have fun reading the growing list as we march towards 1000 referrals made.

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The Essence of the Inbound Referral

This post is the opening positioning for the week long Make a Referral Week – officially starting Monday March 9 – Don’t forget to join us Tuesday, March 10 for a live web panel with Ivan Misner, Bill Cates and Bob Burg – Register here

Referrals happen, but seems like the more I talk to small business owners, the more I discover they don’t really know why they happen or how to make them happen more.

I think it starts with the understanding that everything about generating leads and referrals is changing.

Not long ago I was asked by a large insurance carrier to help design a marketing system for their new agents. They had used the same technique for about fifty years. It went like this. Every new agent would make up a list of 100 people they knew, had been taught or coached by, was related to their friends or was related to them. Next step was to get on the phone and ask those people, some of whom had not seen them in years, to have a discussion with this new insurance pup about taking care of the needs of their family and property.

Scary thing is, this is pretty much the approach of 90% of the companies in this industry. I am by no means picking on this industry because this a common approach for all too many businesses. And when that list of 100 is exhausted, the next option is to start pounding the phones in the equally frustrating game of cold calling.

Outbound marketing, interrupting anyone with a pulse, or worse yet a family member who might actually buy out of guilt, is a thing of the past.

In fact, my advice for this company was this: (they fired me after I suggested it by the way)

Have your agents make that list and include any influential person they had ever run across. But, instead of calling them start thinking of ways to introduce them to other businesses, services and opportunities. In fact, I suggested that they spend 50-75% of the first six months doing nothing but connecting their friends, family and network members in ways that helped them get more of what they were lacking – no selling allowed.

My experience with anyone who takes this advice and this approach is that within a couple weeks of adding value to people’s lives they never have to ask for another referral. It may feel counter intuitive to put the sales approach on the back burner and just focus on making referrals, but do it and people will find you – that’s the essence of the inbound referral.

In the end making referrals is significantly more fruitful than begging for them. Get this point and you’ll never want for leads in your business. Referrals and leads will find you. Putting this strategy into action also ignites a multiplier effect that creates unstoppable marketing momentum and fortifies your business with a network of partners ready and willing to help your get more of what you want out of life.

Happy Make a Referral Week!

The Referral A Team Heads Up Make a Referral Week

Ivan MisnerBob BurgBill Cates

Join me Tuesday, March 10th at Noon CST for a live web panel discussion featuring Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver, Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now. In my opinion this group makes up what may be the worlds greatest single collection of thought leaders on the subject of referrals. This is the A-Team when it comes to teaching the strategies of referral! Register here for this event.

The conference is the headline event of the educational component of Make a Referral Week. More info on the entire week can be found here.

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis session is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

Have You Made Your Referral?

Make a Referral WeekMake a Referral Week 2009 is March 9-13. This is one tiny effort to make a dent in this recession and shine a light on the efforts and impact of one small business helping another.

The goal of the event is to generate 1000 referrals for 1000 deserving businesses.

During the week this blog will be taken over by guest contributions and audio interviews with folks like Andy Sernovitz, Guy Kawasaki, Pam Slim, Rich Sloan, Anita Campbell, Scott Ginsburg, Michael Port and Jill Konrath all focused on telling you how to generate more business by way of referral.

In addition, I am hosting a live web conference on Tuesday, March 10 at Noon CST featuring Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver, Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now. This is the A-Team when it comes to teaching the strategies of referral! Register here for this event.

Here’s how you do your part:
1) Think about the referral(s) you are going to make
2) Make your referrals – (you don’t have to wait until March 9 to do this)
3) Visit the Make a Referral Week Referral Counter page and tell us who you referred and why in the comments – feel free to add URLs so others can learn about the business you referred.
4) Take in all the great educational content all week
5) Bask in the glow of small business coolness!