Posted by: Billy R. Williams Ph.D. | July 4, 2009

3 Free Business Tips that work!

3 Free Business Tips that work!

I am often asked, “What is the real benefit in working with a Business Mentoring firm?” My answer is always the same:  Good Mentors and consultants work with so many clients on such a variety of topics, concerns, visions and resources that we walk away with a prospective that a business owner in one marketplace rarely if ever has an opportunity to experience.

 I am a marketing expert not because of what I know, but because of what I know that works!

Today I am going to give you 3 of the more than 2000 marketing processes that I have acquired over the years. These will cost no or very little money to implement but each one should get you a new client or customer by the end of the day.

 Tip 1: Top 10 Referral List – On an excel spreadsheet list out 10 types of businesses. (Be sure to list your business type!) Fill in the name, phone #, and email address of 1 person that you refer to your customers (including yourself) for 5 of the business types. This will leave 5 open rows. Call the 4 people that you filled in and ask them to fill in the other 5 slots and fax or email it back to you today.

Why this works: We all want to be a part of a network, and we all want people sending business to us. This makes it easy because you and your referral partners have a handy reference tool that you can grab.  It also reminds your contacts that you are ready to receive referrals from them, without you having to put the squeeze on them.

In addition you should get 15 – 20 new business contacts, since it is rare that everyone will fill in the remaining slots with the same names. (At the Business Success Seminar I will discuss how to use this process to turn the list into hundreds of referral partners and how to keep them all happy and sending business your way!)

Here is an example conversation: Joe this is Tom over at ???????, how are you? Hey I am updating my referral spreadsheet. It’s a sheet that I use whenever one of my current customers asks me to recommend someone to them. I am emailing you a copy of what I have so far, and I would like you to fill in some names as well. When you have filled it in please email it back to me. Oh by the way, If you want to add a person to a business type I have already filled in, just write their info on the sheet somewhere. I know you are busy, but I would love to get this back from you today.

Tip 2: Customer Birthday Update Call – Think of five customers that you know that will need your product or service within the next 30 days, call them to update their birthday information in your records. This is not a sales call so don’t jump into a sales presentation, just update the records and let the rest take care of itself.

Why this works:  People are really only interested in your product when they need it to benefit them. Often they wait till the last minute to even begin shopping and then they are rushing to make a decision. Have you ever walked into an office or seen someone on the street and the first words out of their mouth were “I was just thinking about calling you!” Well now you are calling them.

 Here is an example conversation: Joe this is Tom over at ???????, how are you? Hey I am updating my customer information and I realized I didn’t have your birthday. (or I want to verify that I have the correct information) I don’t need the year just the month and date.  If we were going to send you something for your birthday would you want it sent to your home or to your office? (Once they have told you their preference, be sure to record that info or verify that you have the correct information on file.) Thanks for the update, hey while I have you on the phone, do you have any questions about anything, or do you need me to block out any time in my calendar so we can sit and talk about anything? If you don’t have customer records, don’t fake it. Every business should have their customer’s day and month of birth on file, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

 Tip 3: Historical Event Conversation – This works great for insurance agents. Choose a claim event that is likely to occur within the next 90 days, such as water back-up, sound system thefts etc. When you are speaking to a customer make it a point to mention to them that this time of the year your agency historically sees an increase in these claims and you noticed that they might not be adequately covered if this were to happen to them.

Why this works – Your job as an agent is to insure that a customer’s quality of life will not be harmed if a claim were to occur. Customers want and expect you to look out for them. There is a difference between up-selling and notifying them of a weakness on their policy. This is a non-intrusive, customer focused conversation that they appreciate having with you. If you are keeping accurate notes in your agency, it also covers your butt if the claim were to actually happen.

Here is an example conversation – Joe, thank you for your payment today. Before you leave, I was just glancing at your policy and I noticed that you do not have water back- up on your policy? Historically we know that over the next 90 days our office will see a lot of these claims, so the agent makes it mandatory that we point this out to customers that don’t have it on their policy. Are you comfortable not having it? (The answers you will most likely get are “what is it?” and “How much is it?”) The actual wording of the question is the most important part of the conversation. So don’t change it!
In the Agency Mentoring program we will go in depth on the proper way to ask questions to get the emotional and psychological response from the customer that you need to better protect them. Nothing can be heard if they aren’t listening.

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