Grow With Your Customers By Serving Their Ecosystem
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing part three of a solo show series where I’m covering one of my favorite topics: referrals. You can catch the first episode and second episode of the Referral Generation series here.
I’m doing a series on Referral Generation where I’m presenting what I’m calling the seven grades of referral fuel. In the first episode of the series, I introduce all seven approaches. In the second episode, I dive into the first point – why you should have referral offers for every client and what those offers should look like. In this episode, I’m diving into why there’s immense value in working with partners who also serve your existing clients and why leveraging your internal team for referral generation is essential.
Topics I cover:
- [1:37] What the client ecosystem balancing approach is
- [2:06] Why work with partners who also serve your existing clients
- [3:13] How this approach of integrating with and providing value to professionals who provide your clients with value can generate referrals
- [7:24] One of the most underutilized types of referrals is internal referrals
- [7:52] Why everyone on your internal team should understand who your ideal customer is and how you’re different
- [9:51] Incentivizing your internal team and strategic partners
- [10:49] Why look at the inside of your business as a marketing campaign
Resources I mention:
- The first episode in this series: 7 Approaches To Help You Generate More Referrals
- The second episode in the series: 3 Types Of Referral Offers Every Business Needs
- Send me a note – [email protected]
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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Hey, I want to give a shout out to another member of the HubSpot network, the success story podcast, hosted by Scott D. Clary. It's one of the most useful podcasts in the world. Success Story features Q & A sessions with successful business leaders, keynote presentations, conversations on sales marketing. Hey, and if you're a freelancer, his episode on how to make seven figures freelancing on Fiverr is a must listen to the success story podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.
John Jantsch (00:46): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch, and I'm doing another solo show. I'm continuing my fuel, your referrals workshops. So if you are just catching this, this is actually episode three. So you might go back in, check out episode one, where I talk about the seven grades of referral fuel and really the rationale behind why we refer, why we need referrals. In the second episode, I talked about two of my favorites. Uh, just a ways in which you can generate referrals from every client and then those champion clients, how they have to be treated, uh, even differently. So if you haven't caught those, go back and listen to those today, I'm going to cover a couple more. These are, these are two that not everybody talks about, but I think they could be a lot of fun for the right business.
John Jantsch (01:37): So the first one is something I call your client ecosystem balancing. Now this won't work for necessarily everyone, but here's the base idea if you particularly work in B2B and, and even more. So if you work in professional services, then you might consider thinking in terms of who else serves your existing client. And I don't mean generically. I mean, literally who else? So I'll give you an example. We were working with a speaker author who was trying to build out their platform and kind of get, get really a more rounded sort of brand plan instead of just kind of randomly taking gigs. They wanted to create a kind of an umbrella brand for them. So we did a brand plan for them. At the time. This particular client was also working with an executive coach who was really helping them build out the team that they were going to need to execute on kind of their growth strategies.
John Jantsch (02:35): So I, with the permission of my client went to that executive coach and actually taught them, you know, here's, here's essentially the brand plan. Here's what went behind it. Here's the research we did, you know, here's some of our findings. Here's why we recommended what we recommended now, what that did was it served our mutual client because now he had a better understanding of what she was going to doing or what she was thinking or what she'd agreed to for her marketing. And so he could do a better job coaching her, you know, to build this team and coaching her, her team members to really execute on the plan. So by, by taking this idea of, I can help, I can provide more value to my client by helping the other professionals who, who provide value to her, provide more value, pretty much everybody wins.
John Jantsch (03:26): Well, here's the thing that happens. Typically, if you do this three or four times, that that executive coach has now sent us clients, and that was not the goal going in, that just happens to be a happy accident of doing this kind of approach. It all starts with this approach allows you to help your client better integrate the other professionals or the other solutions that they're working on. It makes sense for everybody involved. If you think about it, I mean, how many times do do people hire an accountant and a lawyer and a banker and a, and a coach and a, and a marketing professional. And none of them were talking to each other and yet a lot of their work sort of relies on what one person's telling. I mean, they might actually conflict it in some cases. So it's just a really great approach that, that you could start thinking of really with, with almost every client.
John Jantsch (04:17): So the, the kind of the, the first part of course is, is that, you know, where, where does this work for you? Like, where can you provide value? What's your business model that would allow you to kind of formalize the process and even communicate it. So now going in, we might actually tell a client, look, we're going to do this plan, but we've also found it's really beneficial if we talked to X and X and X that you're working with, you know, do you think that that would be a good plan? So actually you're actually selling it on the front end. In some cases it can be a real differentiator. I mean, who else does that? So once you, you formalize that plan, you communicate it and, and you probably won't do it with every client. It's going to be, you know, something that maybe is a more strategic engagement.
John Jantsch (05:01): You discover who the, who the players are and then figure out like, what are you going to teach them? You know, for example, we have a process, you know, I know you've heard me talk about it called the marketing hourglass. It's such a unique and valuable process of mapping the customer journey in a way that few people do that. That actually just showing that to, uh, you know, to these other players in the ecosystem and just saying, here's, here's the thinking on this is a great way. I mean, we're subtly selling them on our, our processes, but it's just such a great differentiator. And that's kind of the lever that we use in many cases going in to say, look, we just want to teach this to, so, so they have a sense of where you're thinking, you know, with your marketing. So, you know, there are a lot of logical prospects in my particular case because I'm a marketing consultant, other management consultants, executive coaches, accounting professionals, even advisory board members.
John Jantsch (05:57): In some cases, people put together both formal boards, actual boards, and then advisory board. So, you know, some of those folks teaching them, demonstrating what we're doing with them could be a great way to go as well. So this, as I said, will be for everybody. But think about this. This is not just a referral tactic. It certainly will generate referrals. I think it's just a great differentiator for, for the service that you offer as well. Right now,
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John Jantsch (07:24): The next type of referral I want to talk about is so obvious and yet, so few companies are doing enough with it, and that is what I call internal referrals. Your current staff, your current vendors, your current strategic partners, you know, all ought to be looked at as sort of internal referrals. I mean, you ought to have a program where you're teaching a marketing strategy to everybody. And, and, and if you're not doing that anyway, that's just such a great approach because everybody should understand who your ideal customer is, how your business is different, how to talk about your business, because everybody, at some point is going to have an opportunity to talk about your business, he, to a prospect, or certainly everyday to customers create tools, make it, make it really easy for them to pass out.
John Jantsch (08:11): Postcards, pass out business cards, create a landing page that they can send people to, and certainly reward your, your referral sources may make contents or contests out of, of customers, or I'm sorry, employees getting involved, maybe some point system, maybe they wind up, you know, a smoker or a trip somewhere or something. It can actually just be a nice kind of culture building thing for people to sort of healthy in a healthy way, compete. It also just amplifies the message. I mean, I've worked with small businesses that have employees that are far more involved in social media than the company itself is. In fact, in some cases have tens and at thousands more times more followers or fans or engagement. And so I obviously them having a reason to kind of share what they do or share that the company is looking for, you know, XYZ is, is great.
John Jantsch (09:11): I tell you the other one and of course, credit Paul when you're listening to this. But right now getting skilled labor in a lot of organizations has been pretty tough to find folks. A lot of people are switching jobs. A lot of people are dropping out of certain industries. So hiring is, is sh and should be looked at as a referral, certainly a marketing tactic, but it should also be heavily, heavily rely on referrals. Most companies actually, it's how it happens. Anyway. I mean, somebody is looking for a job or there's a job opening and they, you know, they tell their friends. So a lot of cases, if you can actually, again, create tools, create, rewards, know, make it easy for them to do, incentivize them, to tell their, their friends, neighbors, and colleagues in, in most cases or in many cases, at least, you know, if you've got an employee that is a good solid team member, you know, they probably are going to refer people, uh, that are of that same elk.
John Jantsch (10:08): They're probably going to be the person who's probably going to nothing guarantees first. It's going to be a great employee, but, but at least they're going to come in, maybe understanding more about the company, maybe understanding more about the culture, maybe understanding more about the position because they have that friend at work and, you know, studies have shown in, and I'm not going to go off the rails on, on hiring marketing here necessarily. But studies have shown that one of the reasons people leave companies in some cases, because they just don't have a real connection with anybody. They don't have any friends at work. So, uh, bring a friend to work might be a crazy way to, to not only attract talent, but, but to retain a talent as well. So, so think in terms of that as, as a marketing campaign inside your business, internal referral generation for actual referrals and full referrals for hire, all right, so that's it for the song.
John Jantsch (11:01): I'm going to be back with another show, the next show to kind of wrap up this workshop approach to, uh, referrals. And so if you haven't listened to one and two, go back and do that of this number three. And depending upon when you're listening, check out four and five as well, while I'm modeling together in the show notes at duct tape, marketing.com. Thanks for listening. Hey, tell me what you think of this series. It's just John at duct tape, marketing.com. Thanks. Take care.
John Jantsch (11:31): All right. So that wraps up another episode. I want to thank you so much for tuning in and, you know, we love those reviews and comments. And just generally tell me what you think also did you know that you could offer the duct tape marketing system, our system to your clients, and build a complete marketing consulting coaching business, or maybe level up an agency with additional services. That's right. Check out the duct tape marketing consultant network. You can find it at duct tape, marketing.com and just scroll down a little and find that offer our system to your clients tab.
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