Timing is important

Sat in on a webinar a week or so ago.  The title of it intrigued me since I could not figure out why it was setting such a low expectation for a certain metric.  Then I gave them an hour of my life and they basically explained why.

Some people don’t think big enough  

Kind of reinforced me to not pay much attention to consultants who are paid for time not necessarily results.  Anyhow, Lots of goofy ideas where talked about but two stood out;

  1. The times you should be cross selling a current customer/client
  2. The times to ask for referrals

Both are very valid things to talk about.  There are likely dozens of ideas and concepts that have been written about and that those writers will say work.  Cool.  A couple of questions to consider;

  1. When I make the time to call you, I am likely calling to handle something specific.  I may be stressed, busy, on my lunch break, etc  Why would you think I am giving you permission to take more of my time?
  2. What correlation is there between changing a car on an auto insurance policy or refinancing my home with asking me for more money?

Now, I absolutely agree with just about every study surrounding account rounding and the more lines of business in a household.  On the other hand, I am confident to know that whatever I have already done for you should have been done in such a way that you see the value in me.  That value and hopefully personal connection we have made is a very powerful thing and can undo most stats.  Consider this as an alternative; what if you politely kept in touch over the course of a year without trying to sell me anything?  Think about it, you politely keep in touch with this nice person who is already a customer.  By doing this you can hopefully bring additional value and maybe a smile therefore keeping the door open for me to buy something else.  Any way you look at it, me buying something from you is way better than you selling something to me.  Besides, you should have enough people to work with that you do not need to depend on forcing/selling anything to anybody.

On that note, I think asking me to introduce you to friends and family is almost as bad.  Why?

Quit being lazy!!!  Bring value and participate in Social Media!!!

That’s right, I think you asking for referrals, many times, is simply lazy.  I also lump it right in with interruption/spam marketing if you are asking me for referrals when I am calling for some other reason.  Some thoughts;

  • Just like me buying from you, isn’t it better when I proactively share you with friends?  How can you make this easy for me?
  • Is paying for referrals really a good idea
  • If I am only referring you someone so I can enter a contest, is it really a referral?
  • Are you even referable?  Think about it.
  • Really, if we were missing in person do you still think putting a notepad and pen in front of me is a good idea?  **Please say no***

It’s only fair to present some alternatives;

  • Where are we connected on-line?  Hopefully where I am comfortable.  P.S.  do you really think I am sharing canned insurance articles
  • I am not at all opposed to saying thanks with a gift or money.  I hope you are not either.  But should I be offering you money in exchange for your friends contact info?  Do you like it when your email is sold to random vendors?  Do you like it when you are added to a newsletter list without opting in?
  • Seriously, ” you can enter our contest for a t.v. if you refer us to a friend….”  Come on.  Keep selling on price as well and let me know how that works out.   leads us to the next one
  • Be referable.  Seriously, I’ve been thanked several times for referring one person to another and a part of my response is always, ” no problem, thanks for being easy to refer…”
  • Still  one of my favorite “techniques” and still one I have nor will never use.  Try the digital version of this and become a connection on Linkedin.  All of their connections will see it.  How about you like/share something of theirs on Facebook and see what happens.  Even better, how about you proactively refer them in some way or bring other value

Anyway, just some thoughts.  Thanks for letting me share.  Do whatever you think works for you but remember, the world has adjusted and much of what used to “work” doesn’t.

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