The Ultimate Autopilot Referral System
for Getting Customers and Clients to
Fall in Love with You and Start Sending
You All the Referrals You can Handle!
"Automatically Win the Hearts and Minds of
Your Prospects and Customers and Generate
a Never Ending Stream of Referrals"
Here's How to Implement the Most
Effective Autopilot Referral Program Ever!
Every small business owner knows that referrals are the best way to get customers. Referrals from customers come to you predisposed to do business with you because a friend or someone they trust referred them.
In fact, over 40% of the small business owners who recently participated in an Internet poll by MarketingBestPractices.com revealed that referrals brought them the biggest returns over other traditional marketing methods such as advertising, direct mail and networking.
Getting Referrals Can Be a Frustrating Task.
From my own experience and conversations with other small business owners, I know that getting people to refer your business can be difficult. Most business owners are too embarrassed or scared to ask for referrals and the majority of customers are too busy to remember to refer you.
It sometimes gets annoying when you receive promises for referrals that never materialize or you give lots of referrals but get none in return. When you don't have control over the referral process, it can be very frustrating.
3 Things You Need to Get All the
Referrals You Can Handle
Over the past 15 years as a small business marketing professional, I've seen and implemented dozens of different referral systems in numerous industries.
I've worked with independent professionals such as chiropractors, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, realtors, lawyers, and consultants. I've also helped retail businesses such as sporting goods stores, apparel retailers, fast food franchises, jewelers, gas stations, hot tub retailers and pool builders, to name a few.
After all my years of helping businesses get more referrals and watching what the best referral marketers do, I've discovered that you need three basic things to get all the referrals you can handle.
1. You need a large network of people that know you and know what you do.
2. You need to establish a relationship of trust and appreciation with your network.
3. You need a system to manage all your relationship-building efforts.
All the best referral marketers understand that they need these three elements to create a powerful referral program. Just to underscore this, let me introduce you to the most successful referral marketer of all time -- Joe Girard.
The Little-Known Secret of the Most
Successful Referral Marketer of All Time
Have you ever heard of Joe Girard? Joe was a car salesperson who worked at a Chevrolet dealership in Detroit, MI. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Joe sold more retail automobiles for 12 consecutive years on a one-on-one basis, than anyone else in the world. All of Joe's business came from referrals. What was Joe's secret?
Joe developed a system of staying in contact with his customers and potential clients. Every phone call or personal contact he made, Joe would write down on a file card any relevant information. He then sent everybody on his list a unique greeting card every single month! These weren't high pressure sales letters, just friendly reminders to let people know that he was thinking about them.
In fact, Joe sent out nearly 16,000 hand written greeting cards per month to his customers and referral sources. Can you imagine trying to send out 16,000 hand written cards a month! That's amazing! Do you really think that Joe would invest so much money and effort in sending that many cards if he didn't think it was worth it?
But Joe did have a problem. Sending all those cards was a HUGE task. In face, Joe had two full time assistants helping him select the cards, hand write them, stuff them in envelopes, put addresses on them, purchase and apply postage and send out all those cards through the post office. And even then it was a difficult task.
And therein lies the common problem with sending cards.
The Common Problem With Sending Cards
Sending out cards is very hard work. Many of my clients (and myself included) found it very difficult to hand write a greeting card every month with our referral card systems. Not only was the sheer volume hard to keep up with, but even choosing the cards and keeping them in stock was a nightmare.
My Recent Surprising Discovery...
Recently, I received a greeting card from a friend. It was a thank you card expressing gratitude for something I had done for him. It caught my attention because the card was handwritten (or so I thought) and it had a picture of a book that I had written on the inside of the card. The photo of my product got my attention!
I called him up and thanked him for taking time to hand write me a card and asked him how he developed the card with a picture of my book inside. He chuckled. As it turns out, the card was sent using a new online system called SendOutCards.com, that used his actual handwriting and signature.
He had downloaded the graphic cover of the book from my website and uploaded it to this new online greeting card system. He didn't even send the card himself, the system did it all for him for about a $1.00.
I had my friend give me a tour of the system and to tell you I was impressed, is an understatement. Joe Girard would have killed for this system when he was selling cars!
The SendOutCards.com system is THE system for managing and building your network of relationships. It completely automates the task of managing your contacts and sending out cards...and it does it very economically.
Here's How You Can Use the SendOutCards.com
System and My Custom Referral Cards
to Get All the Referrals You Can Handle!
In this program, I've taken all my experience creating and implementing referral marketing systems over the past decade and I've designed and developed 13 of the most unique and unusually effective referral cards that have ever been created.
Each referral card was developed to use as a standalone referral system or in conjunction with several of the other cards. Just one of these referral cards, used in a systematic way, can bring you many referrals.
This program will introduce you to 17 different and unique referral methods. 13 of these referral methods require the use of the custom cards that have been developed for you. To manage each of these referral methods, you will want to invest in a license to use the SendOutCards.com system. When you purchase a SendOutCards Entrepreneur License (Marketing Distributor), you will also receive a lifetime license to use the 13 custom referral cards revealed in this program. This will make it possible to immediately put each of these referral methods to work for you in your business.
If you decide you want to purchase a SendOutCards.com Entrepreneur License and receive a lifetime license to use the 13 custom referral cards, here's what you need to do...
Step 1 - Click on this link. It will take you to the SendOutCards.com website.
Step 2 - Sign up for the SendOutCards.com Entrepreneur Package (Marketing Distributor).
Step 3 - Contact me (under HELP>>Your Sponsor) once signed up with your new ID number
Step 4 - Our support team will transfer the 13 custom referral cards to your new SendOutCards.com account and notify you of how to access your referral cards.
Now let me introduce you to 17 of the most powerful referral methods ever developed.
Method #1 - The "Faithful Customer" Referral Method
The faithful customer referral method is a very powerful tactic for generating a large amount of high quality referrals. This referral method is so powerful that one man, Walter Hailey, used it to become one of the most successful insurance agents in the world. He became, and still is, a legend in the insurance industry.
In fact, this method worked so well for Walter Hailey, and made him so wealthy, that he eventually PURCHASED the insurance company that he worked for. Imagine that, an insurance agent who became so successful in his company that he ended up purchasing the company. That's amazing.
Well, as I mentioned, Walter Hailey became a legend in the insurance industry and he went on to write a book about how he was able to sell so many insurance policies. The name of the book is Breaking the No Barrier: The Billion Dollar Battle Plan for Getting to Yes And in that book he talks about a referral system called NEER.
NEER is an acronym for "Naturally Existing Economic Relationships". Walter Hailey found that many relationships exist as a result of a financial transaction. By that I mean, when you buy something you now become that company's customer. You have a relationship with that company. You gave them money.
Most companies are careful to give special attention to their customers, or at least those enlightened companies who understand that the customer relationship is very important. And in many cases, companies will go out of their way to be kind and do nice things for their customers because of the "economic relationship" they have with them. After all, the customer is the one who pays their bills.
Walter understood that and he learned how to leverage those relationships. So he simply started to visit with those business professionals and people inside the businesses that he paid money to and ask them if they could refer their best customers to him.
These people felt obligated to Walter because, after all, HE was their customer and he helped to pay their bills. So Walter simply started to follow all his naturally existing economic relationships and ask for referrals - and the rest is history.
So what I've done is taken Walter Hailey's NEER referral system and automated it using a specially designed greeting card that you send to all the people you pay money to as a customer. This is what the card says...
Front of Card - "A Special Note from One of Your Faithful Customers"
Inside of Card - "We've been business partners now for quite awhile. We have enjoyed, trusted and relied on your products and services. In the face of much competition and repeated attempts from other companies to win our business....we've stayed loyal and dedicated to you and your company. We are one of your faithful customers. Today, we are expanding our business and looking for people and organizations to whom we've been loyal, to help us spread the word about our business. Will you help us spread the word?"
Notice how I use the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity states that if I give you something of value, the person you gave it to will feel obligated to reciprocate the favor and give me something of value back. In this special card, I've mentioned that I am a faithful customer and even though other companies have tried to lure me away, I've stayed loyal. Basically, now it's your turn to help me out with my business by sending some referrals my way.
This is the exact formula that Walter Hailey used to build a billion dollar insurance agency, but I've simply automated the process for you. All you have to do is sit down and list out all the people, companies, and organizations that you do business with, and send them this card. I would follow up this card with a phone call to ask for a very brief appointment where you can talk about your business to them.
The words on this unique card work like magic. Start sending this card out and you'll see what I mean.
Method #2 - The "Fire My Ad Agency" Referral Method
This referral method was developed specifically for those businesses who offer referral fees in exchange for qualified referrals. Many big ticket retailers offer referral fees and even a lot of professional service providers offer referral fees. And if they don't offer referral fees, many of them offer a prize or gift in exchange for a referral.
This referral method is based on the age old marketing strategy that all you need to do is give people a solid reason why you're offering something, and your sales will increase. In a book called, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" Robert B. Cialdini talks about an experiment by Harvard social psychologist, Ellen Langer, that concluded people like to have a reason for what they do.
Her experiment consisted of people waiting in line to use a library copy machine and then having experimenters ask to get ahead in line.
The first excuse used was "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" This request coupled with a reason was successful 94% of the time. However when the experimenter made a request only: "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" this request was only granted 60% of the time. A significant drop.
Okay now for the shocker.
It may seem like the difference between those two requests was the additional information of "because I'm in a rush", but that's just not the case.
Because in a third experiment, the experimenter asks "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?" There's no reason mentioned or new information presented, just the words "because".
This time a full 93% of the people said yes simply due to the word "BECAUSE"! And it didn't even matter that there was no reason given. Just the word "because" triggered a magic response.
So what I've done is created a very unusual referral card that is sent to your customers, clients, and patients, which gives them a valid reason why you want to send them referral fees.
The card tells the recipient that you are sick of paying a bunch of money to ad agencies when instead, you should be sending the money to customers like them. The card immediately gets people's attention because it starts out by saying, "I'm firing my ad agency" and of course the recipient is now dying to read the card to fine out why you are firing your ad agency.
This is what the card actually says....
Front of Card - "I'm Firing My Advertising Agency and Giving My Money to You Instead"
Inside of Card - "I'm firing my advertising agency and giving my money to you. I've decided to stop all the advertising and give that money to you in the form of referral fees. Why pay the ad agencies when teh best form of advertising is when a great customer like you refers my business to their friends and associates. Please don't keep my business a secret. Let me send you some money!"
This dynamic referral card gives a good reason why you don't want to pay your ad agency any more and how that can be a great opportunity for your customers. It gives them a reason to start giving you referrals. It also explains how you can afford to pay out referral fees.
Now in your personal message on the left hand side of the card, you can reiterate the card's message and let them know how much you're willing to pay for a referral and instructions on how they can take advantage of your referral program.
If you have a referral program that pays referral fees or if you think you should, and just haven't started one yet, this referral card is a fantastic way to start your program and begin getting a flood of referrals. Use it consistently in your follow up marketing program and you'll see the results. They will surprise you.
Method #3 - The "4 Magic Words" Referral Method
In referral marketing, there are four magic words that will get you more referrals than you ever thought possible. I didn't invent these four magic words. These magic words have been used by the best referral marketers in the world and have generated thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even, perhaps, millions of referrals.
These four magic words are simple. In fact, all four words combined only add up to 12 letters. Each word is powerful and when used together, they make up the most effective phrase ever used in the history of referral marketing.
In fact, let me tell you a little story about these four magic words. I go to a local church. In our church we have a congregation of about 300 people.
One day, a fellow knocked on our door and had a few videos in his hand, and he told me that a friend of mine, in my church had mentioned that we might be interested in his videos. He mentioned the name of my friend, and told me that she had bought a set of videos from him.
Of course, I let the young man in and we ended up buying a 3 year subscription to his product. After we finished giving him our credit card, he said these four magic words to us, and like clockwork, we pulled out a sheet of paper, and started listing all the names of the people that we knew that might be interested in the videos that he was selling.
If you use these four words on a consistent basis, you'll get all the referrals you can handle. But there is one obstacle. Most people are afraid to use these four words. For some reason, maybe because they are embarrassed or maybe because they feel as though they are imposing, I don't know....but some people don't like to say these four words, even though they work like crazy.
So what I've done is, I've created an amazing referral card that says the four magic words for you, so you don't have to! Okay, by now you're probably getting kind of anxious and maybe a little perturbed that I haven't told you what the four magic words are.
Well, here they are, drum roll, please. The four magic words are, "Who do you know?" Who do you know is the most powerful question in referral marketing because it allows you to tap into the network of other people. Joe Girard once said, that everyone knows at least 250 people. He called that his "Rule of 250". When you ask, "Who do you know?" it starts the other person thinking about their 250 friends, associates, family members or business contacts. It automatically puts the recipient in a "referral mode" and they start thinking about who they can refer to you.
Now what I've done to put this amazing referral card on steroids is, I've added some wonderful verbiage on the inside of the card that will really get your referral source thinking about you, the value that you've delivered, and how they can reward you as the result of the value that you've delivered to them.
So the front of the card asks the four magic words, "Who do you know."
And the inside of the cards says this, "A referral is the highest form of flattery. It represents a quiet stamp of approval. It's the motivating force behind producing a quality product and delivering exceptional service. When a customer or client silently refers their friends or associates, it symbolizes an appreciation for a job well done. "Thank yous" are valued, but referrals are the ultimate form of flattery."
Notice how classy that sounds. Did you get the feel that this card really speaks to the value you deliver and did you notice how it asks for a referral in such a smooth and non-threatening way? It makes the referral source feel good about sending referrals your way. That's the power of the four magic words referral card.
Method #4 - The "We Love Referrals" Referral Method
The "We Love Referrals" method is a fun and wonderful way to tell your friends, prospects, and business associates that you would like their referral. You know, about 8 years ago, I was in sales. I was the VP of sales and marketing for a company that built and managed senior living communities across the United States.
Once I came on board, the very first assignment I was given was to open up a senior living community myself that was being built. The CEO and President of the company wanted me to have first hand experience in selling the product to the senior adults. They thought that it was imperative that I go face to face selling to our customers, so that I could help other sales people be successful doing the same thing.
So we set up a mobile office outside the complex that was being built, and I would meet with senior adults and try to sell them a residence at the senior living community. One of the most interesting things I discovered, while selling to senior adults, was if I could get them to laugh, then I knew the sale wasn't too far away. So I began to build a little arsenal of things that I would say and do, to get them to laugh during our sales presentation, and that would ease the tension, and it would build their confidence in me as an honest person.
The other thing that I found that worked very well for me during those selling years, was that if I was direct and honest and clear about what I wanted them to do, I would get a much better response.
So when presenting a property, I was always very clear and direct in my approach. I told them that I wanted to them to live with us, I told them that I wanted them to tell all their friends about us, and I told them if they did, they would be rewarded. Pretty soon, I didn't have to advertise anymore, our properties were filling up as a result of referrals from our residents.
So I'be taken these two elements, humor and directness, and woven them into a very compelling referral card. The fact is, this is one of my favorite referral cards, because it's cute, funny, and it makes people smile, but it gets the message across very loud and clear.
The front of the card has a bunch of red hearts that say, "We Love Referrals". The idea for this design came from a start up company that I worked with many years ago. They wanted to get more referrals, so they had a bunch of small stickers created that had a red heart on them that said, "We Love Referrals." They put the stickers on everything. They placed them on letters, invoices, pens, and scratch paper that they gave out, products that they sold, faxes, just about anything and everything that left their company, had one of these little stickers on it. And believe it or not, they started getting referrals like crazy. If I hadn't seen it myself, I probably wouldn't have believed it, but it makes sense. They spared no expense telling people that they wanted and expected to receive referrals from their vendors, customers, and prospects.
So the front of the card has a bunch of red hearts that say, "We Love Referrals". And the inside of the cards has a poem that I personally wrote that says, "We love referrals, yes we do. It's the best form of flattery so may we ask you? If you were happy with our service and we gained your trust, will you tell all your friends to come see us?"
Notice how this is fun and uplifting and not demanding. In fact, we ask for the referral in this poem, only after you were hapy with our service and we have gained your trust. That's a fair request and people resonate with that question.
Again, this fun referral card should be used in a series of cards that you send out to your customers over the year. It should be a part of a referral card campaign that you do with your customers. In a referral card campaign, you might send out a "thank you for being our customer" card, and then maybe a seasonal card, and then a referral card. Now you simply repeat that sequence, four times a year, which would result in sending out a 12 card campaign, one every month. Every month is a different and unique card, that builds a relationship of trust and appreciation. When you can do that, you'll start to see your referrals fly.
Method #5 - The "Definition of a Referral" Referral Method
Many times people take things at face value. For instance, if you asked a regular business person what a referral is, they would probably say that it's when your customer refers your business to someone else. Although technically, that is true, it doesn't tell the whole story of what a referral really is. A referral is so much more. For the person being referred, it's more than just someone talking about their business, it is much more. The "Definition of a Referral" card helps your customers and clients understand what a referral really is, and how important it is to you and to them, as a customer or client.
First of all, this card is very intriguing and will quickly get your referral source's attention because people are naturally intrigued by definitions. And the fact that the front of the card says, "Definition of a Referral" people will automatically be curious as to what your definition of a referral is. So this unique card gets quickly open and read.
So let's open this card up and look at how I defined the word referral. First, I start out at the top of the card, with a graphical phonetic expression of the word referral, just like they do in the dictionary. So it gives the feeling of legitimacy as though you're looking at a dictionary version of the word referral.
Next, I give five, brief descriptions of the word referral. The first definition says, "A referral is when a happy client tells their friends and associates about their experience with a great product or service (or person)." Now that's the definition that everyone knows and associates with the word "referral".
The second definition says, "A customer or client's ultimate stamp of approval for a job well done." So, what this is telling the referral source is that, assuming you've done a good job for the client, you expect them to "tell all their friends and associates about their experience." It's pretty clever and it works.
The third definition says, "An act of enthusiasm and excitement for an awesome product or service, and why that exceeded the customer or client's expectations." I love this definition because it does get to the true essence of word-of-mouth, referral marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing is all about telling other people why you're excited about a product or service and whey they should try it too. Even the word "awesome" in this definition conjures up a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm.
The fourth definition says, "An action that shows that a customer or client really cares about their friends and associates and wants them to receive the very best in products and services." Now this definition plays on our own desire to express how much we care about others and how much we should want to share our experience when we come across a great product or service. So this definition subtly reminds the referral source that if they did have a great experience with your product or service, and if they really care about their friends, then they should tell them about you. In essence, it says that a referral is an act of love and caring. I like that.
The fifth and final definition says, "The highest form of gratitude. (Even better than a sincere "thank you")". You know, we're taught from our youth to say, "thank you" to people. We're taught that, that is the way to show our gratitude. But in this definition we're saying that there is an even higher form of gratitude and that is a referral. It simply lets the referral source know that if they "really" want to say thank you for a job well done, then they should be sending you referrals. I really like this definition because it educates the customer or client that saying "thank you" is great, but that you would prefer a referral. It lets the referral source know just how important a referral is to you and your business.
Once you start sending this card out, you'll see remarkable improvement in the amount of referrals you're now receiving. Give it a try. You'll see. In fact, when I started sending this card out, I had many of my clients who thought it was so good, that they called me up and asked how they could get a copy of this card, so that they could use it in their own business.
Method #6 - The "People Just Like You" Referral Method
Have you ever heard the phrase, "flattery will get you everywhere?" Well, it's true, flattery will get people's attention and it does make a huge impact on getting someone to like you. In the famous book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", the great Dale Carnegie talked about how important it is when you're developing relationships of trust and appreciation, to look for nice things to say about people.
One of people's deepest needs is to be appreciated and when you compliment a person, it's like injecting happy drugs into their system. I know that you know what I mean. I'm sure you remember the last time you paid someone a sincere compliment. Remember how you felt giving it, and did you get a sense of the joy and excitement the person you were giving the compliment to, felt?
Compliments and sincere flattery have magical powers. They have the ability to turn a frown upside down, lemons into lemonade, a bad attitude into one of gratitude. It's one of the true keys to winning friends and influencing people. It was when Dale Carnegie wrote about it decades ago, and it still is today and it always will be.
So what I've done is I've taken that important concept and principle and created a card that compliments and flatters your customers and clients and then asks them for referrals. Now think about this.....When is the very best time to ask for a referral? It's when your customer or clients feels the best about you and what you've given to them. What better time to ask for a referral than just after you've made them feel important?
The front of this surprisingly effective referral card says, "I'm expanding my business and I'm looking for people just like you." It took me days to come up with this phrase. Really. I wanted to use just the right words that would trigger the correct response. Did you know that the phrase, "I'm expanding my business" has been scientifically proven to work when asking for referrals. It's true. In the book, "Masters of Networking" by Ivan Misner, the Founder of the worldwide referral network BNI says, "This phrase has been tried and proven successful over and ocer. Other phrases have been tried and have not produced the better results than you'll get with this phrase - so don't waste your time using them."
I've taken this proven phrase and automated the asking process for you by integrating it into a referral card that you can send out to all the people in your network of friends, and business associates.
Now the inside of the card is very simple. It has a photo of a business man with complimentary words that describe positive attributes that surround the photo of business man. These words give a description of the person in the photo, who represents your referral source. Some words in the card that describe your referral source, are hard working, creative, fun, dedicated, forthright, confident, self-starter, smart, passionate, honest, enthusiastic, perceptive, loyal, sincere, and finisher. Now that's enough to make a person feel great about themselves, isn't it?
What this unique referral card does, is get them thinking about other high quality people that they can refer to your business. It also lets them know that they are one of their best customers and clients that you have, and that they are in a unique position to know other high quality people just like them.
Remember, flattery does get you everywhere and if you're sincere and honest, and you use this wonderful referral card in your efforts to compliment people, you will not only get more referrals, but you'll start getting the exact type of referrals that you want. High quality people like your best customers and clients.
Method #7 - The "This One's for You" Referral Method
You know, I get a lot of referrals every day from people I don't know. It's a rare occasion that I find out that someone has referred my business or my services to their friend or business associate. I'm grateful for the referral, but in a way, I feel sorry for the person who referred me because if I knew that they had referred my business, I would be much more open to referring their business to people that I know.
You see, most people don't tell other people that their business was referred or that they just gave them a referral. If more people knoew who were sending them referals, they would be more likely to refer people back to that person. It's just a natural human instinct. It follows the Law of Reciprcity that I talked about earlier.
This clever referral card now gives you a simple, yet effective mechanism for telling others that you have referred their business. The front of the card really grabs people's attention because it says, "This One's for You!" It plays off the old television beer commercial that says, "This Bud's for You." People quickly recognize it and it intrigues them. they want to open up the card and find out "what's for them."
In the inside of the card, it lets the person know that you just gave them a referral. It says, "Here's a referral for you. As you know, referrals are very important to both our businesses. That's why I make it a point to give referrals to high quality business owners like you! Recently, I referred you and your business to a person and mentioned that you would be an excellent resource for them."
This card works extremely well because it compliments the person you're giving a referral to by calling him a "high quality business owner" and an "excellent resource." That immediately puts people in a receptive mode.
And it also lets them know in a very subtle way that referrals are important to you as well by saying, "As you know, referrals are very important to both our businesses." In a quiet way, you are saying that referrals are important to you and you would also like the person you're referring to send some "high quality" referrals back to you.
On the left inside of the card, where you place your personal message, you should let them know the name of the person you referred, a little information about them, and perhaps their contact information so that your referral partner can follow up with them.
Now you have a referral tool so that every time you give a referral, your chances of getting a referral in return dramatically increase. Each time you give a referral, you should immediately send this card out to the person or business that you referred business to. Make sure they know exactly what you do as well so that they can refer business back to you.
This is what I found when I started using this special referral card. I found that I started giving referrals more often because I wanted to send a lot of these cards out. So I became a much better referral marketer because I was always in the referral mindset. In fact, I have become obsessed with sending out this card.
I've gotten so many positive responses to this card. I've had people send me gifts. I've received complimentary phone calls from people in high places. I've received glowing emails and thank you's from those that I've given referrals to and I've even gotten thank you cards in return when I've sent this card out after giving a referral.
Once you start sending this amazing card out, you'll start getting these types of responses and a lot more referrals, and you'll get hooked on it. In fact, sometimes I find myself sitting there thinking, who I can refer business to, just so that I can send a few of these cards out every day. It really is addictive, adn this referral card works. You can double or triple the amount of referrals you're receiving right now, with just this one referral card.
Method #8 - The "Let's Do Lunch" Referral Method
Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than you are at getting bigger promotions, better deals, more sales - or just getting more business? This is especially frustrating if you feel you are better qualified, have more skills, or offer a better product or service. Often these successful people are explained away as just being lucky or in the right place at the right time.
But what I've found, that is common to nearly all successful people, is that they have a network of friends and business associates that know them and what they do, they like them, adn they trust them enough to send business their way. Most had a good product or service, but that's not what separated them from the rest of the pack. What separated them was that they knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew them, sometimes on a very personal basis.
Recently, I was reading a great book from Keith Ferrazi titled, "Never Eat Alone." From the title of the book, you would immediately think it was all about inviting people to lunch to get to know them. Well, it was about that, but a whole lot more. It was all about how to create a network of influential people and how to build lasting relationships with that network of people. In his book, he tells the story about how he accepted a job with Deloitte Consulting.
When Ferrazi graduated from Harvard Business School, in typical MBA fashion, he interviewed with several companies, one of which was Deloitte Consulting. Before he accepted with Deloitte, however, he insisted on seeing the "head guy". So the CEO Deloitte Consulting agreed to meet Ferrazzi at an Italian restaurant in New York City.
In his own words, the CEO said, "After we had a few drinks at this restaurant, Keith said he would accept our offer only on one condition - he and I would have dinner once a year at the same restaurant. So I promised to have dinner with him once a year, and that's how we recruited him. That was one of his techniques. That way, he was guaranteed access to the top. We had dinner every year at that same place and we actually became friends, as well as colleagues."
What a great example of how to build a lasting relationship with an influential person. By the way, the relationship that Keith established with the CEO of that company, still thrives today and has greatly benefited Keith in many ways throughout his careers with different companies, and now his own consulting company.
Keith Ferrazi urges people to always take the time to make appointments for meals with people that you want to get to know better. Having meals with people is an excellent way to get to know someone else because usually restaurants provide a calm environment away from the office and hussle and bussle of business. It's a great place to have private conversations about people's personal lives.
Well, that's what this very distinctive referral card does for you. It helps you to get lunch appointments with people you want to get to know in a very unassuming way. And it avoids having to call people up personally and ask them over the phone or face-to-face for a lunch appointment. That's something that a lot of people dread doing, so they never do it. In fact, it's the biggest roadblock to getting lunch appointments. People hate asking others over the phone or in person. Most people are afraid of doing this, so this referral card does it for them.
The front of the card says, "Let's Do Lunch!"
That was a common phrase in the 80's and 90's. But it's still as powerful today as it ever was. It's straight and to the point. Hey, let's go to lunch.
On the inside of the card there is a quote from me that says, "Meeting for lunch is an excellent opportunity to expand your circle of friends by getting to know smart, interesting people in a relaxing environment, while enjoying a satisfying meal."
Other business people will connect with that statement - especially people who understand the importance of referral relationships and networking with other like-minded people. They know that going to lunch to meet new people is important and can have beneficial results. In fact, the people who receive this card probably want to do lunch with you and other people too, they were just too shy to ask others, so they'll be delighted when they receive your card.
Here's what you need to do to make this referral strategy work, first you need to create a "hit list" of people that you want to get to know. These might be people who are centers of influence in your local area or influential people in your industry or clients or customers that you believe might be in a position to spread the word about your business. If you're going to take the time to have lunch with someone, you should at least try to make sure that person would be a good referral partner for you.
Once you have your list, you simply create a "Let's Do Lunch" referral card campaign by sending a card out one person a day on your list asking for a lunch appointment. Eventually, you'll start getting calls from the people that you want to meet asking when YOU are available for lunch. You'll truly be amazed when your first phone call comes in from a "big wig" wanting to set up a lunch appointment with you. It will blow you away. This system really works.
Now, let me share with you an extremely valuable piece of advice that was given to me while listening to an interview with a very wealthy, wise, and well-connected man. His name is Jim Connally and in his younger life he was the General Manager for the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. In his position and the general manager of one of the most famous hotels on the planet earth, he met and dined with some of the wealthiest, most famous, and well connected people in the world.
He established relationships of trust with many of them including people like Frank Sinatra, Kerk Korkorian, a billionaire investor, and people like Lou Holtz, former football coach at Notre Dame.
Jim Connally said that there were two questions that he always asked the people that he met that would instantly start a relationship with that person. He swears by these two questions. In fact, he says that much of his phenomenal success over the years has come as a result of asking influential people these two questions.
Like the four words that I talked about earlier, these 2 questions have magical qualities that instantly get the person that you're talking with to share their deepest secrets about their life.
Here's the first magic question....
This question gets them talking about their favorite subject....themselves! People love to talk about themselves. They love to tell people how their own rags-to-riches or fairytale story. They enjoy charing their hard-earned wisdom with others. It makes them feel important and valued and all people need to feel important and appreciated.
The second magic question is....
"What do you do when you're not at work?"
This question gets to teh very heart of where deep relationships flourish. When you have a deep relationship with someone, you rarely talk about your business. You talk about other things like your family, your hobbies, or things that are more important to you than business. And people want to know that you care about them beyond just the business side of their life.
Today, Jim Connally owns a telecommunications company and when one of his sales people tell him how they met a "big hitter" and how they had a lengthy conversation with them, he stops the sales person and asks him, "Did you find out what that person does when they aren't at work? If you didn't, you don't really know that person."
So when you do take someone out to lunch, make sure you ask these two golden questions. You'll be absolutely amazed at what you'll learn. And make sure you take some notes after you meet with them. Write down what they find important. If they talk about the names of their family members, write it down. And then start sending them cards that include this important personal information in them. Again, you'll be amazed at what happens. These people will fall in love with you, and you'll have an ally for life.
Method #9 - The "My Name is George" Referral Method
Before I start to talk about this referral method and the card that goes with it, I want to tell you not to underestimate the power of this approach. If you see it just a cute card and you don't take it seriously, you will be overlooking one of the most powerful referral approaches in the entire Referral Card Marketing System.
Okay, now that I've warned you, let me set the stage a bit about how I came up with this method. Remember, in marketing, nothing is new. Everything has been either copied or inspired by previous successful marketing strategies and the "My Name is George" referral method is no different.
Decades ago an extremely talented copywriter by the name of Robert Silverman wrote a series of letters to promote S. Rose Inc. an office supply business. The letters were all from a little mouse named "Sidney" who lived in the backroom of the office supply store.
At night, when no one was around, Sidney would climb up onto the typewriter and write letters to customers talking about the owner of the store and making offers to customers. The letters were hilarious, but more than that, they were extremely effective.
These series of letters, now known as the "S. Mouse" letters are famous in the copywriting world. So all I've done is model the already successful S. Mouse letters and create a "George the Dog" referral card.
This card is from a dog named George who tells his readers that his boss is really sad because he hasn't been getting the amount of referrals so that things can get back to normal for George. It's really a cute card, but at the same time, this referral card, out of all the referral cards in this entire system, gets passed around the most.
The "My Name is George" referral card never gets thrown away. Never. It gets talked about around the water cooler, it gets shown at networking mettings, it gets brought home to show the spouse - this card gets passed around. If anything, it's amazing work-of-mouth marketing tool that gets talked about over and over again.
The front of the card has a big photo of a sad-looking basset hound dog with a message above it that says, "Hi, my name is George. I wondered if you could do me a favor?" The front of this card is so intriguing that it gets opened 100% of the time. When people see the dog and read a note from the dog saying that his name is George adn that he needs a favor, it's simply irresistible. You are forced to open the card to find out more about George and to discover what kind of favor he needs.
When you open the card, there is a note from George in his own handwriting, which says, "I'm very sad. Here's why. Lately my master has been coming home and not talking to me very much. That makes me very sad. You see, my master is really good at what he does. In fact, some people say he's the best. I know he really listens good to people and solves a lot of their toughest problems.
But lately, he's been kinda down in the dump. The other day I heard him talking on the phone and he said that his business was doing okay, but he wanted to expand it, but he just wasn't good at all the marketing stuff.
So would you do me a favor, so that things can get back to normal around here? Would you tell some of your friends how good my master is and maybe send some business his way. I know he'd cheer up really fast and be grateful. Thanks George."
This is a wonderful use of humor to get your serious message across. Remember, if you can just get people to laugh, you'll be able to break through the noise barrier, capture your referral source's attention, and develop a closer relationship. That's one of the hardest things in marketing to do. Break through the noise barrier.
Studies have said that the average person gets bombarded with over 3,500 marketing messages a day, and it's very difficult to get someone's attention when they are being inundated with marketing chatter.
This unusual referral card breaks through all that chatter and delivers your referral message in a unique, surprising, and delightful way. Once you start using it, your phone will start ringing. I guarantee it.
Method #10 - The "Let's Share Referrals" Referral Method
One of the best ways to get more referrals is to simply start referral relationships with a group of like-minded business people that also like to share referrals. That's the basic strategy that started many of the networking organizations that you see today. Organizations like BNI or Business Networking International or even local Chamber of Commerce's. But there's nothing that says that you can't start your own referral networking group, like I did.
In fact, I think the best referral networking group for you to be a part of is your OWN referral networking group that YOU start and sponsor yourself. Now why don't more people start their own referral networking group? The answer is because they simply don't know how. Well, with the "Let's Share Referrals" method, now you don't have that excuse.
Remember, there is an important principle to remember when you're starting any relationship and that principle is what is called the "Give to Get" marketing principle. In life, when you give, you get back more in return. It's the same in marketing. When you give, without the expectation of receiving, you will be rewarded.
It's a true principle. I've seen it played out over and over again. I've found it to be true in my own business and I've seen it happen in the businesses of many professionals that I know. It works in personal relationships and it works just as well in professional relationships.
So if you want to get referrals, you need to give referrals first. But in order to give referrals, you need to know what type of prospect would be the best referral for the person you're giving referrals to, and that's what this referral card does.
It helps you to start a referral relationship with other like-minded professionlas, but it does it in a way that isn't selfish. It uses the "give-to-get" marketing principle by asking your referral source for the profile of their best referral prospect so that you can send them the type of high quality referrals they want to receive.
The front of this card says "Let's Share Referrals." And the inside of the card starts with a headline that asks the question, "Who Can I Refer To You?" Notice that this follows the "Give to Get" principle. The inside of the card goes on to say, "You and I both know that referrals are the lifeblood of our businesses. I would like to share referrals with you. But first, I need to know what your best customers and clients look like, so that I can send you high quality referrals that easily convert into business."
Did you notice in the first sentence that I established that we both require referrals? This sentence is specifically designed to get your referral source nodding their head in agreement. When this happens, you're half way home. But then I ask what a good referral would look like. This lets your referral source know that you don't want to send them just any old referral, you want to send them a high quality referral, one that will turn into a customer or client.
The next section of this inside part of this card asks three questions. The first question is, "Who is your target market?" This helps to narrow down who their prime customer would be. The second question is, "What problems or needs are they experiencing?" This is a very important question beacuse the answer to this question pinpoints who the perfect customer or client would be for this referral source.
People purchase products and services to solve problems. Every product or service solves a specific problem or set of problems. The best way to determine if a person is a great referral prospect is to know what problems they are struggling with and match those problems to solution providers that you know and trust.
It also helps you, as a potential referral source for your referral partner, to ask people the right questions, to find out if they are a good match for your referral partner. I hope this makes sense to you because it's a very powerful concept.
The last question simply asks your potential referral partner to, "Describe any other characteristics" that would make a good potential customer or client for your partner. This gives them a chance to give any peculiar things to watch out for.
At the bottom of the card it asks the potential referral partner to send back the card to you. Once you get this referral card back with referral information, then make it a goal to quickly refer someone to this person within the next week or so. When you do, then send the "This One's for You" referral card to let them know that you took their information seriously and you acted on it.
You might even send them a "Let's Do Lunch" card, after you get this card back. You'll be surprised at how many quality lunch dates you'll get when you do this.
Now, how do you start a referral group with this card you may be asking? Well, it's pretty simple. You just send this card out to a group of people that you know, and when you get back the cards you can put them into a document that you can use to form your own networking group.
I would send a follow up letter to this card, and ask the people that responded if they would like to join a referral group. If they send the card back, you know they're interested in giving and getting referrals, and so they will probably be likely to want to participate in a referral group with you.
This is also an excellent card to send to people that you've met at a networking meeting or a business meeting.
The best thing about this referral strategy is that you are asking to help other people. I like that approach and I know that other people like that approach as well. Always deliver value first. Zig Ziglar, the legendary sales trainer has said many times, "If you help enough people get everything they want in life, you'll eventually get everything you want in life." And that's exactly what this referral strategy does.
Method #11 - The "People In Common" Referral Method
The "People in Common" referral method is another great way to invite people into a referral group that you establish or simply to invite someone into a referral relationship with you. This referral method proactively goes out and makes invitations to people to enter into a referral relationship with you. It helps you to seek out like-minded referral partners, rather than just waiting for them to cross your path.
Too many business professionals leave the referral process up to chance. That's a big mistake. In fact, that's the difference between what many people call "word-of-mouth" marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing leaves the referral process up to chance. It only happens to someone who happens to be a customer of yours, or who knows you happen to be talking to someone, who happens to have a need that you can solve. And at that moment, your customer happens to remember and refer you to their friend. It all happens by chance. It's not planned, it's not consistent, and the results are not at all predictable.
On the other hand, a "referral system" is a well-thought, process for getting referrals on a consistent basis. I like word-of-mouth marketing when it happens, but to be honest, it rarely happens. Most people have so much going on in their brain and they simply forget to refer you or your business. That's exactly why I like referral systems, like the ones that we are talking about in this program. They are proactive ways of generating an extraordinary amount of referrals.
And that is what the "People in Common" referral method does. It's proactively seeks out referral partners or people who want to share referrals with you.
The front of the "People in Common" referral card has photos of several people from different businesses such as a CPA, doctor, and financial planner. And the message says, "What Do All These People Have In Common?"
The headline on the inside of the card says, "They All Enjoy Sharing Referrals". And then there is a short message, which reads, "Would you like to grow your business and join us in the giving and receiving of high quality referrals?" It's simple and short and to the point. Again, this is an excellent card to invite other business professionals to be a part of your own referral group.
Method #12 - The "10% Off" Referral Method
If you're a retailer you'll love the 10% off referral method because it works extremely well in a retail sales environment. The 10% off referral method is more of a transaction-based referral system than it is a relationship building referral system. By that I mean, transaction based referral systems, try to get referrals during a financial transaction or right before the transaction such as a sale of goods. And usually transaction based referral systems use a reward system to incentivize the person to give more referrals.
That's exactly how the 10% off referral method works. Again, it's not a relationship based referral system, but it works so well that I would have done you a disservice if I hadn't included it in this program. And there are probably several retailers or people who have businesses that can tailor this program to work for them, so if you're just into relationship based referral marketing, don't automatically dismiss this referral method because you just might be able to use it.
I've seen the 10% off referral method generate hundreds and even thousands of referrals in a very short period of time. Here's how it works. Let's suppose you own a retail store and you want to invite all the friends and associates of your current customers to your store to shop with you. So at the entrance of the store, you have an employee hand out a flyer to everyone who walks into your store. The flyer has a headline that says, "You Can Get Up to 10% Off Everything You Buy In Our Store Today!"
The instructions go on to say, "We would like to send your friends a special gift. For every friend that you refer to us, you will receive 2% off whatever you purchase in the store today up to 10% off. If you refer 5 friends, you will receive the full 10% discount." And then the flyer leaves a place for the customer to write in the names and addresses of 5 people that they know. And it has a place for their own name and address.
Once the customer gets to the checkout counter, the sales clerk matches the customer's address with that on her drivers ID and scans for any poorly spelled names and addresses and then she gives a discount of 2% for every person the customer referred, up to 10% off. Now there are a lot of variations of this referral method. It doesn't have to be 10% and it doesn't have to have 5 referrals. You can take the concept and alter it to fit your business.
The "10% Off" referral card does the same thing the flyer does, but in a greeting card format. So you can send this card to your customer's home, as part of a referral campaign, and ask the customers to bring the card into your business already filled out.
Now once you get the names of all the referrals you'll want to put them into a database or a spreadsheet and associate them with the name of the person that referred them. You then write an invitation letter to all the referrals and say something like this, "Dear John, My name is _______ and I'm the owner of ________(name of business) here in _____(city). I would like to extend to you a very special offer on behalf of _______ (referral name), a friend of yours who lives at _______(referral address). _____(referral name) has asked me to send this one time offer specifically to you."
That's how the letter starts. You get the picture. Notice how I included the name of their friend. This is called an "endorsed mailing" because it includes an endorsement from someone they know and trust. So even if they don't trust you, they probably trust the person that referred them and you are simply leveraging the relationship that already exists.
And that is what referral systems are all about. They are about leveraging already existing relationships. In effect, you're borrowing the credibility and trust that already exists between two people. That's why a referred customer is 10 times more likely to do business with you than with a regular new customer who came in from an advertisement or some other form of marketing.
This is how the "10% Off" referral method works. If you have any type of retail store, or you do any type of retail selling, you really need to implement some form of this referral method into your marketing approach. It works like gangbusters because everyone wants a good deal. And many of your customers are willing to give you referrals to get a good deal, so give it a try and you'll be amazed at the results.
Method #13 - The "Gift Card" Referral Method
If you want to reward businesses or professionals for referring your business, and you want to do it with some class, you should consider using the "Gift Card" referral method. Using retail gift cards is a new and fun way to express your appreciation to people.
Nearly every major retailer now sells gift cards. Companies like Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Chilis Restaurants, Block Buster Video, even Wal Mart all carry gift cards that you can buy and insert into your referral thank you card.
Just a few weeks ago, I received a Barnes and Noble gift card from a good friend of mine for helping him promote one of his products. It was great. I took the card down to the bookstore and bought several books using the card. What a nice gift. I'll remember my friend every time I look at one of the books I purchased with the gift card he gave to me.
Now you have to be careful about this because many industries are regulated and don't allow any exchange of value for a referral. But if you don't have those constraints, and your budget can afford it, sending a gift card to someone who refers you business is a great motivator for them to refer more business.
And if you really want to impress someone, simply send them a Starbucks card or a Barnes and Noble card just to say hellp, or on their birthday. They will be very impressed with you.
Now there is a problem with a sending gift cards. For one, knowing where to buy the gift cards is a challenge. And second, inserting the gift cards into a greeting card and then sending the card out to your referral source can be a pain in the neck.
But Send Out Cards solves that problem. With Send Out Cards you can buy a gift card from any number of retailers and have them automatically inserted in a really nice greeting card and then have the card sent out, without any manual effort on your part, in less than 30 seconds. It's very simple to do.
Send Out Cards automates the entire process for you. You don't have to lift a finger. And you can send the card out with the referral thank you gift card that was custom developed for you.
And that's not all. Let's just say, that you simply want to send a person money. Send Out Cards can send a gift card that is from many others like American Express, or Visa, etc. All you have to do is pick a card, write a message, insert a gift card, and hit the send button. That's it.
Let's take a moment and look at the Referral Thank You that I custom developed for you. The front of the card says, "Thank You for Your Referral." It's simple and to the point.
But the copy on the inside of the card is magic. It says, "It's not every day that you get a high quality referral from such a trusted referral source. We know that you don't put your good reputation on the line very easily. So here's a little something to say thank you, for putting your trust in us by referring our business."
Did you notice while listening to the copy for this card that I use a compliment as a leading statement? That's because it gets people's attention. When you make people feel good, they will want to read more of what you have to say. This card goes on to acknowledge that your referral source has a good reputation and that they are picky about whom they endorse, and you are aware of that.
It lets your referral source know that you don't take them for granted. They know that every referral they send to you is important and has a lot of value that you don't take lightly.
Method #14 - The "Thank You Note" Referral Method
Thank you notes are one of the best ways to develop warm relationships of trust with your clients and customers. Everyone loves to be appreciated and given thanks, but so very few people ever do it. So when you do express your gratitude, it gets noticed and it gets remembered. The best way to say thank you is with a simple thank you card. I know it sounds too simple, but thank you cards are very powerful. And now that everyone is using email to communicate, it's more important than ever to use physical cards to stand out.
A consistent use of sincere thank you notes goes a long way to building a deep relationship with people. Some of the top sales trainers and referral marketers swear by thank you notes. Here's what a few of these top business people have to say about thank you notes.
Harvey Mackay, the author of the best selling book, "Swim with the Sharks without Getting Eaten Alive" says that "Short handwritten notes yield long results.
In sales, never underestimate the importance of the personal gesture, and right at the top of the list of effective personal gestures sits the handwritten note. Always send memorable cards and personal notes when you are reminded of a person."
Tom Hopkins, the world famous sales trainer says, "Because I understood that building relationships is what selling is all about, I began early in my career to send thank you notes to people. I set a goal to send 10 thank you notes every day. Guess what happened? By the end of my 3rd year in sales, my business was 100% referrals!"
And Bob Burg, the author of the best selling book, Endless Referrals, says, "Thank you notes are one of the most powerful tools in building a huge network, both professionally and socially. People with the most impressive networks are typically avid note writers. It's one of the best techniques for long-term winning without intimidation. I suggest getting into the habit of immediately sending out notes."
Send Out Cards makes it super easy to create and send thank you notes. In fact, in less than 30 seconds, you can have a personalized thank you note on it's way to your referral source. And Send Out Cards has literally hundreds of specialized Thank You cards to choose from. You'll never need to send the same Thank You card twice.
Now I've gone one step further and created my own thank you card. This card has the words "Thank You" on the front of the card, and a photo of me pointing at the reader and holding a poster that says "Thank You."
When people get the card, they do a double take because they didn't expect such a customized, personal card. I created this card and uploaded it directly to Send Out Cards using the Picture Plus system.
In fact, a few weeks ago, I sent out a Thank You card to someone and last week I ran into that person, and the first thing he did was extend his hand to shake mine, and he thanked me for the card that I had sent him, and he mentioned that he had never received a card quite like the one I had sent him, and he asked me how I created it. Needless to say, he now sends out custom Thank You cards similar to the custom cards that I send out. And why not, they capture people's attention and build relationships of trust.
Method #15 - The "Birthday Card" Referral Method
The "Birthday Card" referral method is one of the most powerful and effective referral systems that you can ever implement in your business. If you just employed this one referral system into your business, you would start getting so many referrals that you would never have to advertise again.
The "Birthday Card" referral program is a simple system of identifying and documenting people's birthdays and then sending them a heartfelt birthday card on the most special day of the year for them, their birthday.
People love getting birthday cards, and as we get older, we appreciate it even more when people acknowledge that special day of the year for us. In fact, if someone outside of my family were to send me a birthday card, with a personal note, I would be extremely impressed. The only people who send me birthday cards are my close family members. That's it. And I'm probably not alone.
I would imagine that most people don't get any recognition beyond their family on that most important of days.
When you start a program of sending birthday cards every day, you'll see your referral rate increase dramatically. And the bst thing about this method is that if you want more referrals, you simply collect more birth dates and send more birthday cards. It's kind of like a "referral faucet," which you can turn up when you want more referrals, and turn down when you want less referrals.
This story is true. I know one insurance agent who is a multi-millionaire many times over. He continues to be one of the top performing insurance agents in his entire company, year after year. A lot of insurance agents wonder how he does it, but he doesn't like to tell people what he's doing. He's kind of private about it. In fact, he even told me not to reveal his name on this page, so I won't. I'll just call him Mr. X. But Mr. X does exist. He's real.
The secret to Mr. X's great success in the insurance industry is that he gets referrals every single day from customers, business associates, friends, and even his family members. And the reason he gets so many referrals is that he sends out a ton of birthday cards, every single day. Over the years, he's collected thousands of birthdays and he simply sends them birthday cards and includes a personal note to them.
Do you want to know how he manages this program? Well, he has one assistant, who is dedicated fulle time to finding out people's birthdays and inputting them into his Send Out Cards birthday database. Then 14 days before the birthday arrives, he gets a notice in his Send Out Cards system that he needs to send out a card soon. So all he does inside his Send Out Cards system is click on the person's name and it automatically takes him to the birthday card catalog, where you'll find hundreds of different and unique birthday cards.
Once he's found the right birthday card for the person, he simply selects it, writes a short note, and clicks the send button and it's gone. The system already knows the address of the recipient and automatically enters it onto the card.
The card is then printed in his own handwriting, and has his own signature in blue ink (or whatever color he chooses). You would never know that he didn't write it himself. The card is then inserted into a white greeting card envelope that contains the addresses on it, in a pretty handwriting/print font with blue ink. A first class stamp is placed on the envelope and it's then sent through the United States postal system. All this happens, automatically, by Send Out Cards. They do all the work. All you have to do is click your mouse button a few times and write a personal note.
Now, let me tell you that I did make one mistake. Actually, M. X doesn't even write his own notes. He sends out hundreds of cards a day. His assistant does it all for him. He has written several personal messages that are stored on his computer, and his assistant just copies and pastes the messages into the cards.
The assistant will include a few personal lines in the card. The birthday database has a place for special notes about the person, and she just draws a few personal tidbits of information from the notes and includes it into the cards.
The key to making the birthday card referral marketing program work, is having an assistant to help you and the Send Out Cards system to automate the process for you.
Again, if you just took this one referral strategy, and applied it in your business on a consistent basis, you would get all the referals you could handle, day in and day out, like clockwork. Again, that's the difference between word-of-mouth marketing and having a systematic process for generating referrals that get consistent, predictable, and repeatable results.
Method #16 - The "Picture Plus" Referral Method
The "Picture Plus" referral method will shock, surprise and delight your customers, clients and friends. It will have them scratching their head wondering how you did it and then asking themselves how they can do it too. I've used the picture plus referral method for several years now, and all I can say is that it rocks! I wish I could use more professional terms to describe it, but they just wouldn't capture my excitement and feelings about this referral method. I can honestly say that it's one of the greatest strategies I've ever used, and it gets people's immediate attention.
Like most of my referral ideas, I didn't come up with this one. As I was paging through a magazine one day, I saw an ad that sparked the idea. When I saw the ad, I immediately knew that I could replicate that type of ad, with a personal photo of me, and the "Picture Plus" function in Send Out Cards.
My mind went crazy with ideas and the rest is history. I use the poster board referral method all the time now, and it really works. Once people see it, they immediately want to know how they can do the same thing for their customers and clients. It's truly amazing.
Here's how it works. First, go down to an office supply store like Office Max and buy some white poster board. The best poster board is the foam stuff that is kind of rigid. Next, put some nice clothes on, like a suit or a dress. Now this isn't mandatory, but it's what I did. Grab your digital camera, and go somewhere the light is good and you have a nice background. After church one day, stand in the front room of your house.
Then I just started taking high definition photos of myself holding the poster board in different positions with my digital camera. Once I was done, I uploaded them to my Send Out Cards account, using "Picture Plus."
Picture Plus allows you to modify your photos using captions, images, elements, and much more.....so once you have your photo uploaded into the system, you can add personal messages right on the poster boards, as if you had got a huge magic marker and physically wrote the message on them yourself.
You can also modify your photo with various borders. This great little function can turn boring pictures into exciting, dynamic and eye-popping pictures. The borders function helps to offset the picture in a truly dynamic way.
You can also use two functions that are called "thought bubbles" and "word bubbles". Thought and word bubbles allow you to make the person in the photo seem as though he is talking to you or thinking something. It's very cool. Again, it can bring a dull photo to life, with just a few words.
It works much like what you would see in a cartoon where the character on the page has a "word bubble" next to him or her with the words they are speaking in it. It gives the static photo life. The only limitation to using thought and word bubbles is your own imagination. There are so many exciting and creative things you do with this tool to really impress the person who receives your card.
Picture Plus allows you to upload an unlimited amount of photos. You can literally upload all the photos you want. And then you can even attach these photos to people in your contact management system. So let's say you snap four different photos of an important person at a networking event. Maybe she's the featured speaker or the host of the event.
Once you get back to your office, you fire up Send Out Cards. You then upload all 4 of your photos. You then simply click a link that says, "Add a Contact" and you add the name and contact information for the person in your photo, and now you send them a greeting card, with this person's photo on the front of the card, from anywhere in the world!
Method #17 - The "Vacation Postcard" Referral Method
Now that you've been introduced to the world of Picture Plus with Send Out Cards, you'll find that your head is swimming with ideas and all the possibilities and things you can do with this application.
But one of my absolute favorite is the "Vacation Postcard" referral method. Send Out Cards makes this so easy, you'll kick yourself that you didn't find this system sooner. Here's how it works.
When you go on vacation or on a business trip to an interesting location, you take a photo of yourself, create a postcard or greeting card out of it, using the Picture Plus application in Send Out Cards and send it to your database of your best customers and clients.
People love getting photos and especially ones in exotic locations. But they'll be even more impressed that you took the time to send them a postcard or greeting card while you're on vacation. It means a lot to someone to know that you meant enough to them to take the time to send them a card while you're on vacation.
You're supposed to be enjoying yourself on vacation, and not thinking about your customers or clients. The fact that you were thinking about them will make them feel extra special.
For example, suppose, you're on vacation in Hawaii. You can snap a photo of yourself sitting on the beach, and when you get back to your room, you can upload the photo into Send Out Cards (or do it right from your phone on the beach!) put a thought bubble on the photo that says something like, "I hope they are doing okay" with a caption that reads, "I can't stop thinking about you!"
And then with a few clicks of your mouse, you can send that referral card out to every single client in your database. Isn't that awesome! That is simply amazing. If you're a small business or business professional, and you want to really WOW your customers, clients and referral sources, you must get Send Out Cards and start using Picture Plus. I cannot think of a simpler, easier, more economical way to make a huge impact on people that you want to establish a deep, lasting relationship with, other than Send Out Cards.
In this Referral Card Marketing System program, I've introduced you to 17 different and unique ways to dramatically increase the amount of referrals you receive in your business, using simply referral cards that are sent using Send Out Cards.
I promise you that if you implement just a few of these referral card marketing strategies, you will begin to see a big difference in your business. You'll feel better about yourself, your customers and clients will love you, and you'll start getting more referrals than you ever thought possible.
Again, If you would like all 13 of my unique, custom developed referral cards that you've seen above, you'll need to invest in the Send Out Cards Referral Partner Program (MD). Once you do that, and send contact me, with your new SOC ID number, I will transfer these amazing referral cards to you.
Happy referral card marketing!