Sometimes when I meet with prospective clients, they tell us that they get all of their business from referrals. The implication is, they don’t need marketing. My answer is usually, “Do you know how much business you’re NOT getting?” It’s great that business comes from referrals, but do you know if you’re NOT getting business that you should be getting?
We should all remember that customers and prospects DRIVE the sale. Prospective customers have lots of means to discover information about you and your company. So if someone gives them your name as a referral, it’s quite possible they’ve gotten other names. Most prospects then do a little research – they may look at your LinkedIn profile, your website, perhaps your blog (if you have one), and your social media sites. What they see as a result of some quick research may determine whether they call you or not.
Act like a customer. So pretend you are your own customer. Look at your sites and compare them to your competitors. Do you notice any of the following?
- LinkedIn Profile. Is it current? Do you have a photo? Have you kept up with your contacts? If I am considering hiring a company, I want to know that they have connections, that their technology is current, and that, as a company, they are both innovative and active.
- Your Website. It’s pretty easy to tell whether your website is current, or over 5 years old. In many cases, the site doesn’t reflect what you do anymore. Links within your site may be broken. And you may not have a blog. When that happens, it makes me wonder if this company is just hanging on, or even worse, going out of business.
- The Value of Your Blog. If you have a blog, post on it. By reading a few articles, I can usually tell what the company is like to work with. If you don’t have a blog, it leaves me wondering about how you work with clients. A blog is an important communication tool for prospective clients.
- Social Media Sites. Chances are your customers are looking to see if you have a Facebook or Twitter account. If you don’t have either, that might not be such a bad thing. But when they find that your competitor not only has social media accounts, but that they post to these accounts, that amps up their value.
Think about it. Who would you call if given a few referrals for a project. A company that’s current and communicates with prospects, or a company that seems to be hanging on? Are you missing out on potential clients? Even referrals need to see some proof. We’re happy to help reinforce your image. Give us a call at 301-467-2501 and let’s talk.