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Jeff Bezos’ 7 Steps on How to Cultivate Referrals and Drive Repeat Business (Part 1 of 2)

December 6, 2020

Are you an Amazon FBA seller looking for ways to give your business a competitive edge?

You’ve come to the right place.

Now you can exponentially increase your client base, increase customer awareness, and encourage repeat business. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos gives us 7 nuggets of wisdom to follow.

It is but natural for people to prefer doing business with someone they know rather than with strangers. When a prospect is sent your way by a satisfied client, you can be sure that prospect will have an immensely higher comfort level compared to a cold prospect. After all, nothing can be more reassuring than an enthusiastic endorsement from a person you know and trust.

Despite the fact that so many small business people actually acknowledge the importance of referrals, it’s puzzling to think how a lot of them don’t seem to bother with asking for referrals at all. Studies reveal that nearly 70 percent of small business owners don’t ask for referrals, much less bring the subject up!

Is asking for referrals really that hard?

We can only guess at what their responses would be. Maybe they find asking for referrals uncomfortable or maybe they just assume their clients will pass along a good word about them.

According to Jeff Bezos, all things being equal, the company who actively asks for referrals is going to beat others every time.

The key benefits you can derive from business referrals include:

  • Reduce overall costs associated with sales cycle and expenses. Now your small business can focus on customers and their circle of influence instead of spending a lot of time calling cold prospects.
  • Build your reputation by capitalizing on the enthusiasm of satisfied customers. Nothing can be more convincing than a raving fan personally endorsing your products and services. This cycle perpetuates itself as the number of your satisfied customers grows.
  • Increase your sales revenue. Studies show that the success rate of a salesperson closing a sale to a referred lead is six times higher than a cold lead.

So, by focusing your efforts on asking for referrals rather than employing cold marketing tactics, you can generate six times as many sales!

Stay focused and you will see that opportunities to get referrals are all around you—all you have to do is ask.

When asking for referrals, do not limit yourself to prospects you have successfully closed. If you want to maximize your chances for success, you have to ask every prospect you meet. However, your best source of business referrals will always be customers who are satisfied with your products or services. You cannot receive a better, more motivated lead than one that has been sent your way by a happy customer. 

Follow these 7 simple steps to ensure you’re right on track to building referrals:

  1. Don’t be too shy to ask for referrals

Too many business people are either too shy or they forget to ask. However, you need to pick the perfect time to ask for a referral. Make sure that when you do so, you are there in the middle of delivering excellent service. This is when your client sees you as being most active in delivering real value. Not only should value be provided, but you need to also make sure that value is recognized by the customer or prospect.

Sometimes clients will tell you directly that they’re happy with your product or service, making it easy for you to determine whether value has been recognized. What about if they don’t tell you? What you can do is ask value-seeking questions. Oftentimes clients will validate value. However, don’t be surprised if every now and then you would hear a client say they’re not sure. Don’t get discouraged when you hear this. Think of it as an opportunity to improve your products and services.

Many business people are afraid that asking for referrals might put a strain on their customer relationships. If you think that by asking customers for a referral would make you look desperate or pathetic in your customers’ eyes, then it’s time to correct this wrong mindset.

Nurture a growth-oriented mindset and see all the skills you lack as qualities that you can develop—through dedication and effort. The right mindset therefore is this: Satisfied customers are more than happy to spread a good word about your business.

From now on, always assume your clients would be happy to refer to you. Ask them whether it makes them uncomfortable referring to you. Their answers could uncover some dissatisfaction they may have kept from you.

  1. Train your customers to refer you

Perhaps the biggest improvement you can make in your referral campaign is teaching your clients how to refer to you. While many customers would be glad to refer to your business, they may not actually know how to go about it.

You can help your client refer to you by helping them a little bit. For example, you can provide them with brochures or pamphlets that contain your core value proposition, perhaps a statement or two about client results as well as information about what you do and the advantages of doing business with you. Place the same information in a permanent box in your printed and emailed newsletters. This will encourage readers to visit your site and read the rest of what you have to say about your business. Don’t forget to include a request for referrals on the back of your business card. Alternatively, you can provide instructions on how to go to various review sites, such as Yelp, to give you a review.

  1. Make it easy with links

This is not the time to be shy about all the reviews you’ve been receiving on Angie’s List, Yelp and similar sites. A good way to let people know about them is by adding review site links to your website pages, email and Facebook company page.

Always provide information about what you do and why people should choose you over the competition. This can come in the form of downloadable PDFs that you can disseminate throughout your various communication channels.

Many people have difficulty articulating fully what they want to say and some are afraid of sounding ridiculous or funny in print or while sharing their experiences to peers. To solve this problem, you can send them samples of reviews other people have made to serve as models. Never ever write your own reviews. People can tell whether they are reading a genuine or fake review, especially if they are too well-written. A review should sound natural, describing experiences exactly as they happened.

We have come to the end of Part 1 of this two-part article.

Now you are ready to tackle the next 4 key aspects of building a successful Amazon FBA business by leveraging referrals.

In part 2 we will continue with steps 4 to 7 on how to cultivate referrals and drive repeat business like Jeff Bezos. See you there.