Someone recently asked me which social media platform offers me up the most referrals. And I almost laughed. When has someone called me out of the blue and said “I need my search engines optimized?” How about never. And that’s just fine with me. Because I get new clients from my existing clients, that’s where. Yes even in this digital age, and the pervasiveness of social media, most of my clients come from personal referrals.
But hold on. Once I get a referral, there’s a great chance that those folks are going to Google me, search for me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, look at my reviews, etc.
Your business probably has a similar track and that’s the way it should be. Even though I’m in the social media business, I rarely get the cold calls from someone I’ve never met. Is that a bad thing? Not really. If I get a cold call from someone who has no understanding of me and what I do best then that usually means I’ll be competing against a host of other folks. Ugh! That’s so time consuming…I’ll have to do some background research, figure out who else they might be talking to, devise a pitch specifically for the client, rehearse my pitch, get all dressed up, wait in an office with bad music or tattered magazines…I could keep going.
Today I walked into an office of a prospect. It’s people that know me through two other clients and they follow me on a couple of my social media platforms. They’ve seen my videos, know my voice through my updates and tweets, and love my sense of humor. And even though I wasn’t wearing my finest prospecting suit, she hugged me and exclaimed “We can’t wait to start working with you.” That’s so much better than having to get all dressed up and sit in some uncomfortable office.
The first rule of thumb in business is: take care of business! Take care of your existing clients, deliver the goods, communicate, visit, say hello when you’re in the area then remember to ask for referrals at the appropriate time. You never know which one of your customers will be your rainmaker so treat all of them like gold.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to bake cookies for a client.