Let your customers market for you

Marketing and Sales are many organizations most difficult tasks. They feel they have a great product or service, they have the expertise but they struggle getting more customers.

One of the best ways to market is to have your customers do it for you. There are a few different ways to do this but most only use a couple.

1. A common way to do this is through incentivizing. An example would be to give a discount for a person who brings in two other customers. Another example would be to give a small percentage of sales to the person who recommends a new customer (this is common online where sites such as amazon.com have affiliate programs)
2. Another way to do this, and one which has gained a great deal of popularity over the past couple of years is through social networking. Your customers use review sites or blogs to comment upon your goods or service and either that will attract new customers or it might drive potential customers away (depending upon the review). One advantage of this method over the first is it’s frequently perceived to be unbiased. The first method you are paying someone to promote your service so they would be considered a biased view. This method is thought to be more unbiased because it’s coming from a person without an incentive. Unfortunately, this is not always true as the “customer” giving a review might be an employee or might be part of an incentive program. It’s important to make sure the review truly is unbiased before you take it too seriously.
3. A way I would like to see more organizations use is the method of having your client market to their close knit customers as if they are part of your organization. An example would be a person who owns a soccer camp. To get 150 soccer players the owner could either market to each soccer player (and in doing so probably have to “make contact with” 15,000 or more). The alternative is to run a team camp where each team brings 15 players. Now, instead of marketing to the 150 campers, you are just marketing to the 10 coaches who then have to market to their 15 players. Another example would be a hotel. They can try to fill 100 rooms through regular means or they can market to the head of a group organizing a big conference and they sell to the conference and the conference brings in the people who will fill the rooms. This type of marketing is different as you will have to spend more time selling the one person but once that person is sold, they do the rest of the marketing. In many cases, they can reach a group you don’t have access to and once they experience your product or service, hopefully, you can develop repeat business with these new customers.

The first two methods are the more talked about method of marketing but the third method will help you grow your organization as fast, if not faster.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

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