“A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.” – Francois de la Rochefoucauld
People need outside opinions. They need to be able to talk to somebody who really knows the score and understands the situation. They need to be able to talk to somebody who is going to give them answers that will be truly useful to them.
If, like me, you’re in the service business, you have expertise that can be helpful to many people. And because of that, it’s likely that your clients will refer their friends, relatives, and acquaintances to you for advice. When they do, giving those people the right kind of advice can be to your benefit … in more ways than one.
What you have to do is make the commitment to always put the other person’s interests ahead of your own. Say to yourself:
“I’m not going to offer advice or information that benefits me. I’m just going to tell the truth – the truth as I see it best. And however the chips may fall, whether I’m the beneficiary of that advice or not, I’ll know in my heart that the information I’m sharing is so valuable, and so unique, and so critically important to that person or business that I will have served my client who made the referral. They will be proud … and know that I prize them at such a high level that I would never sell out my own self-interest to somebody who is important to them.”
For example, if one of my clients referred you to me, here’s what I would say to you:
“Just talk about your situation, and let’s figure out whether you even need my consulting services. Let’s figure out what in the world you’re trying to accomplish. Because you might have right under your nose more revenue and more profitability and more opportunities that you can capitalize on … long before I ever have to get involved. And if I have to get involved, maybe I have to get involved in an area you haven’t even thought about that’s going to be much easier, simpler and faster, and far less expensive and more profitable for you.
“I don’t want to just sell you my services. That would be doing you a grotesque disservice. I want to first of all give you the lay of the land … tell you the situation as I see it … share with you my point of view and my perspective. And then, together, we’ll figure out whether or not you even need me. Maybe there’s a better alternative for you. And maybe that better alternative is my competitor. Or maybe it’s doing it yourself. Maybe it’s buying a book. Or going to night classes.”
Your role with your clients should be evolving to the point where you become their most trusted and valued friend – a friend that they feel confident referring their own friends to.
I suspect that you talk to your friends frequently by phone … you see them … you do things with them. And the more you communicate with them, the closer you actually feel to them. Right?
It should be the same with your clients. And if you’re in the business of selling products instead of services, it should be the same with your customers. Because whether you realize it or not, when they have made a buying decision through you, they have made a commitment of faith and trust in you of the highest magnitude. Like a friend.
So communicate with your customers frequently. If you aren’t doing it now, why aren’t you? If you are doing it now, how much of what you’re doing is in your customers’ best interests? How much more of that could you do?
When I write a marketing piece, I do something most other marketers don’t do: I let my readers in on a secret. I tell them why I am making the offer and what it’s all about. Then I admit that I don’t know for sure if the product I’m selling is good for them. So after they order, they have a choice. If the product works for them, they can keep it. If it doesn’t work for them, they can send it back.
The more reasons you give your customers or clients to believe that what you’re telling them is true … and that your purpose is to sincerely do the right thing for them … the more compelled they will be to favor you with their business. And refer others to you
It’s all a matter of being honest with them … and keeping their interests – instead of yours – in mind.
Show your prospects the reason why your product or service is good for them. Show them why it would be to their advantage to continue buying from you. Make them believe that the best thing they can do for themselves is avail themselves of you and your product or service.
If you do all of those things, you’ll make more money.