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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Asking for Referrals in IT Marketing

Once you have good clients, one of the best techniques in IT marketing is asking for referrals. The question you should be asking on a daily basis when you talk to clients, whether via email, fax, phone or face-to-face is “Do you know anyone else who could benefit from our services?” While you may not always feel comfortable with the question, it is critical to any good IT marketing campaign.

Part of getting good referrals is not only asking the critical question, but also training your clients how to answer it. Your good clients should be well versed in recognizing those within their circle of family, friends, business associates, colleagues or vendors that would benefit from your unique services. For example, if a family member is on the phone with them and brings forward a complaint about a slow computer, or can’t email an important colleague back because of problems with email, that person could be your next best client.

Let the people you work for know how much you appreciate referrals, and show them how to find them for you without even lifting a finger, and you will notice rewards.

Another way to get referrals from current clients is to survey them at least once per year about their business with you. In this survey, you can ask them to list people they know that might be interested in the services you provide. On a similar note, you can send out a more frequent “statement stuffer” that gets mailed to customers along with your invoice. The statement stuffer should tell them how much you appreciate referrals and give some more information on you and the type of businesses you serve.

If you want to get more aggressive about your referral campaign, you can also create a formal referral program. Let clients know that you will give them rewards for the referrals they provide that become customers. You can offer discounted services, in kind donations to charities or a variety of other incentives to call them to action.

Regardless of the IT marketing technique you use, let the people you work for know how much you appreciate referrals, and show them how easy it is to find them for you without even lifting a finger.

Blogged by: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit