Want Referrals? Be Big Screen “Remark”able.

What do we mean “remark”able? Simple. Do something worth remarking about.

That means you can’t settle for just lip service, the standard “friendly service, better selection, honesty and integrity” lines. It’s time to put words into actions and, in the words of singer Bonnie Raitt, “Let’s give ‘em something to talk about!”

A great way to step beyond the commonplace free hot dogs and sodas tent event is to hold an shindig that your raving fans will consider fun, unusual and post-worthy on social media.

In essence, you’re going to bribe your customers to give you a great review or to recommend you to others. The only question is, how willing are you to commit to getting word-of-mouth advertising and referrals? Before you answer that, here are some parameters to set in order to create a successful referral event:

  1. Invite the Right People – and Then Some. These are the Influencers you want at the event. Start with the Raving Fans who have referred your company in the past along with the Big Spenders. Also invite those who were referred by another customer. This extra little prodding may be all they need for a buying decision. Then go an extra step and promote that representatives from your favorite charity will be there as well, whether it’s cancer survivors, first responders, or exemplary teachers. Reach out to everyone in a way that will stand out, whether that is a card, a phone call, or an evite. Brainstorm the outreach with your staff or your (ahem) marketing consultant, if you have one.
  2. Make It Exclusive. By segmenting your list into those customers who are more likely to refer versus those customers who are more likely to enjoy your free event without referring anyone, you have created an exclusive event. So, be sure to let your invitees know that this shindig is specially created for them, your best referrers. You’ll know you’re doing it right when people find you after the event and want to know when the next party is and how they can qualify to be invited.
  3. Offer Them Bragging Rights. Make sure that, at the event, your invitees receive a special greeting, acknowledgement, or thank you. You couldn’t be the business you are without them. Then acknowledge the special guests you’ve invited. Spread the “warm fuzzies” and start enjoying.
  4. Recognize Your Own Star Players. Let your customers get to know your staff. If humanizes your company, and gives it faces and names, not just a slogan. But don’t make it about sales numbers like you would in your training room. Make it about ways your people are exemplary, going above and beyond for customers.
  5. Document Everything. Promote on social media before the event so others who didn’t get an invitation this time will know these events are exclusive, but if they play their cards right, they can get in on the fun next time. Post up during the event, take photos and shoot video. Finally, gather the comments afterwards.

Start with a small and manageable event, like a movie premiere. Many of the cinema chains will help you arrange a private showing or even a premiere where you can roll out the red carpet and greet your invitees and special guests in style. It’s a self-contained environment and you can make it feel special.

Got a plumbing business? Have a special showing of “Aquaman”.

Roofing business? How about all those rooftops in “Mary Poppins Returns”?

Mesh your business with the good time feelings of an evening or afternoon out.

Remember, everything doesn’t always have to be about your products and services. (This is particularly true if what your company offers is pretty much the same as everyone else.) Don’t you agree what makes you different is your remarkable staff and generosity? Then, it’s time to allow others to remark upon what you do and how you do it.

Got a marketing dilemma? Hit us up and let’s talk it through. Maybe we can partner together and make 2019 your best year ever. We’re SGI’s go-to Marketing gurus: The Brand Guys. (512) 808-5775.

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