Referral Marketing - Increase Sales 236%

Want to grow your social enterprise — more revenue, more impact?

Hate feeding the media beast with your precious advertising dollars?

What if you grew without spending a dime on advertising? (Just like Facebook and Google did in the early days.)

But first…

Imagine you’re at a park in NYC. You see something strange.

It’s a robot rolling along a straight line on the sidewalk. When it runs into a bench it gets stuck. So you go to investigate.

The robot has a flag that says:

“Help me get to the southwest corner of the park.”

So you pick it up, point it in the right direction, and let it go.

This is exactly what Kacie Kinzer did with Tweenbots:

   Tweenbots    are human-dependent cardboard robots that navigate cities with the help of pedestrians.    HitchBOT    is a similar project. Tweenbots won’t take over the world. They promise.

Tweenbots are human-dependent cardboard robots that navigate cities with the help of pedestrians. HitchBOT is a similar project. Tweenbots won’t take over the world. They promise.

What did she discover?

"Every time a Tweenbot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged…

They rely on people they meet to read [their] flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal…”

“What’s this have to do with growing my business?”

You are the Tweenbot, bumping around in society.

Others will direct you to the right destination, will help you get more and better:

  • Clients

  • Donors

  • Investors

  • Employees

  • Partners

It’s as simple as asking:

“Who do you know who…?”

Even better if you make it a habit and ask who you can introduce them to. Return the favor.

“Why should I care about referral marketing?”

Most business owners leave word of mouth to chance.

If you get this wrong, you will:

  • Waste money on scammy social media marketing agencies

  • Waste money advertising to cold prospects (and feed the media beast)

  • Waste time warming up those cold prospects

  • Waste time qualifying tire kickers

  • Get frustrated working with the wrong kinds of clients

  • Increase your chances of going out of business

If you do get it right, you will:

  • Increase leads (everyone is connected to thousands of people)

  • Increase sales conversions (referrals are warmer leads)

  • Increase customer lifetime value (referred leads buy more and more often)

  • Decrease time to purchase

  • Decrease refunds and other headaches

  • Enjoy working with your ideal clients, ones that energize you

You lead a social enterprise because you want to improve the world. You also want that enterprise to be sustainable. And you want to enrich everyone around you as you grow.

So how then?

Enter: Jay Abraham

This post is inspired by Jay. Haven’t heard of him? How about his biggest fans:

 Stephen R. Covey: “Jay Abraham is one of the greatest business and marketing minds I’ve ever known.”

Stephen R. Covey: “Jay Abraham is one of the greatest business and marketing minds I’ve ever known.”

 Ramit Sethi: “Jay took my business model, totally deconstructed it, and helped me reengineer it from the ground up. This resulted in me doubling my business in one year!”

Ramit Sethi: “Jay took my business model, totally deconstructed it, and helped me reengineer it from the ground up. This resulted in me doubling my business in one year!”

 Tony Robbins: “Jay is the foremost strategist for small and large companies in the world. He is the true marketing master.”

Tony Robbins: “Jay is the foremost strategist for small and large companies in the world. He is the true marketing master.”

 Ken Blanchard: “[Jay] has created a generation of global experts. Thousands credit him as their primary mentor as a result of his protégé and consultant training programs.”

Ken Blanchard: “[Jay] has created a generation of global experts. Thousands credit him as their primary mentor as a result of his protégé and consultant training programs.”

“So how can I increase sales 236%?”

The following excerpt comes from Jay’s book 93 Referral Systems (audiobook):

“Every week you place an ad and get 100 calls. From the 100 calls and sales, you will have run 4 ads, answered 400 calls, kept 80 appointments and have 20 sales to show for your effort.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 14.01.56.png

“Now let’s assume you ask for and get two referrals for each sale and each 10 referrals result in 3 sales (30% close ratio), a higher number than appointments (25%) because of the quality of the referrals.”

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 14.02.24.png

* You will ask for and get referrals from referred customers too!

“As you can see, the number of referral sales is growing exponentially and in just 5 weeks the number of sales from referrals is more than the number of sales from ads. This is true in many businesses, like real estate for example, referrals are commonly 80% of sales. Good real estate agents depend on getting at least 4 referral sales for every conventional sale.” -Jay Abraham’s 93 Referral Systems

In other words… you could increase sales 236% by implementing just this referral strategy for six months. There are many, many more referral strategies available.

“…and how can I enrich everyone around me?”

Since I founded Applied Ideals I’ve been introducing social enterprise leaders to one another. Only recently did I become intentional about it. It’s easy to imagine helping other business owners:

  • Find a great employee. Saving them 10s of thousands of dollars in recruiting fees.

  • Find another client. When any of us serve our clients we create value that wasn’t previously in the world.

  • Find the perfect mate. Two different married couples thanked me for introducing them. What a delight!

And imagine what would happen if everyone in your network nurtured this habit… Talk about exponential.

  Some of the introductions Applied Ideals made for clients in the past few months.

Some of the introductions Applied Ideals made for clients in the past few months.

“Any other benefits of referral marketing?”

Many!

Here’s one: it can be a religious practice!

I once interviewed social entrepreneur Biplab Ketan Paul, who won $100,000 from the Buckminster Fuller Institute. He grew up in India.

  Biplab and some of his colleagues at    Bhungroo   .

Biplab and some of his colleagues at Bhungroo.

I asked, “How did you parents educate you? Was the schooling more modern scientific, more religious traditional, or some combination?” Biplab said, “It was more modern scientific. My mother encouraged us to keep our religious practice simple. She said, ‘Instead of burning sacrifices at the temple for God, why not serve God as It manifests in every single person you speak with?’”

Simple and profound.

Now I approach referral marketing like this.

I’m speaking to someone. The Supreme Being is inside them, somehow, as my friend Biplab reminds us. How can I best serve the Supreme Being as it manifests in them? Even if you don’t buy that… This person could achieve remarkable things for mankind. Who can I connect them to so they’ll be able to give the world their full gifts sooner?

And here’s one more: together we can starve the media beast.

Have you ever taken a long break from television or social media? Ever traveled abroad, outside of the bubble?

Ever wondered, ‘Are there really more shark attacks / kidnappings / whatever bad things this summer?!?’

Then thrown your jar of Nutella® at the television sobbing, ‘Where have all of the good people gone?!?’

This isn’t the place to enumerate the many ways the media distorts our perception of reality, encouraging us to be ignorant, scared, anxious, and desirous.

  This becomes that. See Dove’s classic educational commercial    Evolution   .

This becomes that. See Dove’s classic educational commercial Evolution.

But think about it. Almost all of the media depends upon us feeding it with our advertising dollars.

What if we didn’t?

What if we got all of our business through word of mouth?

Don’t you want to aspire to that?

“So where do I begin?”

Get into the habit of asking those you resonate with:

  • What kinds of people do you love working with? Who would you like me to introduce you to?

  • Who do you know who [insert the frustrations and pains your service alleviates]? Do you think I could help? If so, would you introduce us?

It’s that simple.

Additional Resources

I put together some materials and tools for my network.

  • Google spreadsheets - track who you introduce, and who introduces you

  • Worksheet - get really, really clear on who you want to be referred to

  • Scripts - copy/paste/edit what I use to introduce people

  • Instructions - create an animated network graph like I did above