Turn Clients Into Word-of-Mouth Machines

This week’s blog post comes from Bill Cates’ newsletter, the Referral Minute (I encourage you to register for it as well since it contains many useful tips). I liked the idea so asked Bill’s permission to reproduce it here so you could also benefit from it.

I just conducted a special referral boot camp for a group of about 50 highly-successful financial advisors (I mean highly successful). One of the advisors shared what he does to generate a steady flow of referrals from his “A” clients.

This advisor turns his clients into Word-of-Mouth Machines by providing them with a continual flow of shirts, umbrellas, and other high-quality, utilitarian items that his clients use on a regular basis. He told the group that “a $50 shirt is a small investment to get your clients to let others know that they are using you.”

I’d like to add emphasis to the words quality and utilitarian. If the items you provide to your clients do not meet both criteria, you are probably wasting your money.

This advisor has created a “culture of referrals” among his clients. They love the work he does and are happy to spread the word in a low-key, easy way.

Isn’t it true that IF we get something from a company, we hardly want to use it because the item SCREAMS “I’m a billboard”?

How does it apply to your organization? What do you give away and will people be proud/happy to use or wear it? Or will they throw it away as seen as they return home?

To your success !



2 Responses to Turn Clients Into Word-of-Mouth Machines

  1. Jan,

    thank you for sharing this one.

    My critical comment is that the best word of mouth is “value for the money” and, having read your book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” I know that you yourself don’t compromise on quality.

    I like the discussion “billboard” vs “low-key” but I don’t think there is a general answer to “right” or “wrong”.

    Here in Munich we have a “Munich City Run” where 20.000 enthusiastic people participate year after year. The running shirts which you can keep as a souvenir have an ugly orange (see link below).

    Still, wenn you walk the local English Garden or Schlosspark Nymphenburg, or visit the outskirts of Munich, you can be sure to spot one or several runners dressed in the orange shirt.

    I think if you liked the event, or the service offered, or a particular moment, then the item carries sort of affected value, “sweet memories”.

    Personally I prefer cloths completely without any brand or name, but it is very seldom found……

    Recently I made a large survey on “Give-Aways”, shortly you will find an article at my blog http://blog.bestsellingme.com/, I am interested to hear your comments to that.



  2. Hi Anders,

    yes, when there is an emotional value attached to it (like the sports event in your example) it might be different.

    Thanks for your contribution !


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