The Magic of Networking
By Robyn Henderson
Imagine waving a magic wand and having every current and past customer
re-use your services in the next sixty days. In dollar terms, think how
many thousand dollars this would be worth to you. Many organisations these
days are forgetting that much of their future business will ultimately
come from their past clients. These clients already know how good their
product or service was and hopefully still is.
One of the keys to growing a business is turning customers into
advocates. Customers buy once, clients buy twice and advocates do your
selling for you. Rather than spending all your advertising budget and
energy strictly looking for new business, why not consider investing 50%
of your advertising dollars and energy on current and past customers and
only 50% on new business. This investment in past clients will encourage
them to buy the second time. Ian Kennedy and Bryce Courtenay tell us in
"The Power of One to One" that if you can get a customer to make
a second time purchase, they are ten times more likely to make a third
time purchase and ultimately become your advocate.
Advocates are your raving fans. We earn the right to turn customers
into advocates, by exceeding their expectations. Good customer service is
not enough these days - that is the norm - everyone is doing that. Turning
customers into advocates is step one, then we need to keep them as
advocates by continuing to exceed their expectations. Making contact every
ninety days with your clients is critical to building a good relationship.
That contact is not asking them for an order, but rather doing something
This contact may be in the form of:
- newspaper clipping (an article that you think may interest
- referral (actually referring business to your client rather than
just expecting the business to always be one way)
- thank you card (thanks for your business, your time, your
- birthday or Christmas card (although birthday cards are frowned upon
in some professions, most clients appreciate your
- invitations to networking functions (great way of showing how much
Any of the above ideas will give your clients a clear indication that
they are valued by you.
It is said that 80% of the population do not get recognition on the
job, and work for bosses who constantly catch them doing something wrong
and rarely catch them doing something right. In addition 50% of the small
business owner/operators are constantly asked by their families "when
are you going to get a real job?" Recognition is critical to 99% of
the population and it is one of the easiest things for us to give.
Similarly, Giving recognition to your customers is one of the keys to
unlocking the magic of networking in your business. By earning the right
to gain repeat business, we not only grow our business, we also turn our
customers into advocates.
Networking accounts for more than 75% of business happening in the
marketplace. Those organisations foolish enough to believe they can
continue to sell "1980's style" rather than network and build
relationships, may need a real magic wand to survive. Start networking
today. Happy networking!
About the author: Robyn Henderson is an author,
publisher and international business educator. She travels throughout Australia,
New Zealand and Asia showing companies how to double their customer base through
effective networking. Her latest book is HOW TO MASTER NETWORKING. For more
information visit her website at www.networkingtowin.com.au
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