It is always easier and usually more enjoyable to earn new business when someone recommends you. Great referrals come from your free sales force -- your raving fans. These fans are out doing business development for you without you knowing and often without you even asking.
The shortest distance between you and your next referral is how you treat your current clientele. As a business person it should be part of your conscious effort to serve your clients with more enthusiasm and more care. It is the old adage of "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Take for instance life coaches. There are a lot of coaches in the market and the best are the ones you will stick with forever because of the way they treat you. I don't think we should make our clients addicts of us to the point where they can't write a few lines of copy, create a marketing concept or take action on an idea without consulting us first. That is not the point of supporting a client. But as a successful mentor or coach, you need to step up with more ideas and stretch yourself to provide new value for your clients. You have a responsibility to always bring your A game.
For instance, I have certain rules about my commitment to bring my best to every meeting. If I have a day full of client calls I take that time very seriously and will not go out late the night before. I plan my social calendar around my business calendar so as not to burn myself out. I want to be clearheaded out of respect for their trust and confidence.
You also need to be willing to customize your services to accommodate larger groups or specialized trainings. I think about what I teach in one of my standard programs and figure out how I can personalize it for different companies or audiences.
These are things you need to do to continue creating raving fans. Do it not because there is an expectation your clients will go out and talk about you to everyone, but the truth is a majority of them will.
Think about all the times you look for a professional... lawyer, hairdresser, plumber, etc. You are more apt to be satisfied with someone a friend trusts, not to mention how much easier it is than letting your fingers do the walking through a directory or search engine. Make sure you are top of mind with your clients by always showing how much you care.
Peggy McColl is a New York Times best-selling author and an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal and professional development and Internet marketing. As an entrepreneur, business owner, mentor and professional speaker Peggy has been inspiring individuals to pursue their personal and business objectives and achieve ultimate success. She provides effective Internet marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, authors, publishers, professionals, and business owners, who want to establish an online presence, achieve bestseller status, build their brand, grow and/or expand their business online. You can find out more about Peggy at her website, Destinies.com.