Category Archives: Referrals

Techcrunch Guest Writer gets Blasted for Shady Marketing Tactics

An incredible post regarding how to make your videos get viral attention on sites like YouTube appears on Techcrunch. The guest writer, Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of viral video marketing company The Comotion Group, has taken quite a beating. Most of it is quite deserving as his original post seems to not only endorse, but to provide detailed shady step-by-step tactics on ‘gaming’ sites like YouTube. This is definitely worth a read along with the 400+ comments. If you can sift past the belligerent commentators – I can’t stand it when people can only find their boldness while hiding behind the veil of anonymity – there is a very worthwhile debate going on here about what are morally acceptable online marketing practices. Read more

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Filed under advertising, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Referrals, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, video, Viral, Web 2.0, youtube

Enable Your Customers to Support Causes

Terrific post on Duct Tape Marketing that profiles email marketing services giant Constant Contact’s non-profit program called “Cares 4 Kids“. The program allows customers to nominate a single children’s charity to receive a free Constant Contact account. By empowering customers to give is always special. When the giving is your company’s products or services, even better. Done right, a program like this speaks well for your brand the marketplace, as well as foster loyalty amongst current customers. Can you think of a way to introduce such a program in your business? Worth looking in to. Read more

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Filed under Business, Care 4 Kids, Causes, charity, Constant Contact, Duct Tape Marketing, Internet, non-profit, Public Relations, Referrals, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing

Deck Builders Give a Lesson on How to Sell

When I get really good service, I feel the need to share it because, unfortunately, it seems all too rare.

I’ve been wanting to add a backyard deck to my house for the past two years, but never got around to actually getting it done. During that time, I met with quite a few different builders. Each one would meet with me briefly, then give me a quote that varied considerably from one person to the next, and would base it on either cedar or pressure-treated wood. I’ve had my heart set on cedar from the get go. Love the look of it. But I’m a low-maintenance kind of a guy, and the more I thought about the idea of sanding and staining my deck every spring, the less appealing it looked. I came across a composite material at Home Depot one day that looked like cedar and thought, “That’s it!” Doesn’t look quite as good as the real thing, but would give me what I’m after. Still need to settle on a builder though.

It turns out my colleague’s husband is a carpenter and he, along with his partner, build decks all the time. Arranged a time for them to come over. Expecting a brief meeting and a follow-up quote based on what I wanted, instead the two of them went over all the options available to me, and the pros and cons of each. They informed me that composite material is very expensive, about 2-3 times more than cedar (I actually thought it would be cheaper than cedar). It also has colour variations and still suffers from some weathering issues based on their experience. Cedar looks great, but is high maintenance. Also, most of the cedar being used now in Vancouver isn’t old growth, so it’s soft and dents easily. Pressure-treated wood is the the most affordable, but can flake and crack – I know this first-hand, because my current tiny deck is made of it. After walking through my house, they offered up a fourth option they felt would give me what I’m looking for, and would fit with the design of the house – one that no one prior to them had suggested: building a solid floor deck with slate tiling. It’s very low-maintenance, fits with the interior of the house, and is cost-effective. For the first-time in the process of wanting to add a deck, I felt informed to make a decision that fits my needs. Rather than just telling me what I wanted to hear, they took the time to educate me with the facts, and with no pressure to buy or make a quick decision. This is what effective sales is all about – empower your customer with the information they need to make a purchasing decision they feel confident about. It goes a long ways to getting repeat business and referrals.

I went with the fourth option, the one I never considered before meeting them. Thanks guys.

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Filed under Business, Customer Service, marketing, Referrals, Sales, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

Aggressive Referral Program Pays Big Bucks

PEER 1 logoMy employer PEER 1 offers the biggest cash payout on referrals in the hosting industry. PEER 1 pays up to $2,000 for each referral that signs up for a managed hosting plan with the company. The way it works is simple. When a prospect you refer to PEER 1 either through the online form or over the phone signs a 12-month contract, PEER 1 pays you a one-time cash amount equal to the client’s monthly fee. If their monthly fee is $500, PEER 1 pays you $500. If it’s $1,000, they pay you $1,000, and so on up to $2,000. There is no limit to the number of times you take advantage of the program and you don’t even have to be a current PEER 1 customer to use it. A great way to earn some added bucks. For more details, click here. You can also earn the same dollars through the CashAds program where you can grab some banner ads, place them on your sites, and monitor the traffic and clickthrus through the CashAds portal. Any clickthrus that convert into a sale at PEER 1, you make money.

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Filed under Affiliate Programs, Business, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, PEER 1, Referrals, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Technology, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth

Becoming Preferred in Your Marketplace

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Filed under Blogging, Business, Communications, marketing, Referrals, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

7 Ways to Go Viral

Good post on Light Speed Venture Partners’ Blog that offers up 7 methodical ways to for you to take your business viral online. They break it down as follows:

  1. Communication
  2. Email Invitations
  3. Widgetopia
  4. Platforms
  5. User-Generated Authority
  6. Quiz-Based Content
  7. Re-numeration

Read more 

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Referrals, Small Business Marketing, Viral, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth

Knowing Your Client’s Connections Can Increase Your Referrals

Good article written by Paul McCord as it appears on MarketingProfs.com:

One of the critical parts of generating a large number of quality
referrals is, of course, getting quality referrals, as opposed to just
getting names and phone numbers. Often, when a sales professional asks clients for referrals, clients
respond that they either cannot think of anyone or that they do not
know anyone who wants or needs the salesperson’s products or services.

You can assure yourself of getting quality referrals if you take the
time to learn who your client knows prior to asking for referrals. If
you know who your client knows, or probably knows, you can suggest
potential referrals to your client.

How do you discover who your client knows? During the course of the
sale you need to be aware of everything you can learn about your
client. Does he or she have signs of membership in organizations in
their office or home? Are there bumper stickers on their car?
Photographs that might indicate involvement in organizations or clubs?
Has the client referred to a meeting or some other indicator of
involvement? Can you gather information about past employment, other
vendors, or customers?

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Filed under marketing, Referrals, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

How to Become a Marketing-Led Organization

Jeffrey Mucci at MarketingProfs.com provides a framework of turning your business into a marketing-led organization like Starbucks, Harley Davidson, Southwest Airlines, and FedEx. Marketing-led organizations require first and foremost a cultural shift in the organization where everyone becomes the voice of the customer. Marketing-led organizations focus on customer retention, satisfaction, experience management,and lifetime value, while sales-led organizations focus on customer acquisition, revenue, profit, and market share. As Jeffrey states, “There must be commitment to investing in the company and its infrastructure in an effort to better serve its customers—create a world-class customer experience and reputation.” This doesn’t mean you have to throw a ton of money to build brand awareness through advertising. As described in detail in Al Ries’ book “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR“, Starbucks built its brand primarily through word-of-mouth and word-of-media. Their offer was compelling enough to get people talking about them. In particular, the experience Starbucks offers with its coffee was worth talking about.

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, marketing, Referrals, Small Business Marketing, Word-of-Mouth

A Sales Force Full of Customers

Joanna L. Krotz writes about how to turn your customer base into a highly effective sales force. Leveraging word-of-mouth and third-party endorsements always generates more response to your products and services. Joanna advises on how to develop a referral program, elevate your profile, and choose smart, strategic partners:

The most effective sales team you’ll ever find is enthusiastic
customers. The reason is simple enough: Customers aren’t paid to
praise. When a customer becomes a passionate believer in your brand, it
means you truly earned it. Whenever they buy your product or service,
customers feel like special club members or rebels for your cause.

But a repeat customer alone doesn’t create a sales team. The trick is
to transform that dedicated buyer into a missionary who spreads the
word and converts friends, family and associates into customers, too.
By building great word-of-mouth, you nurture an all-volunteer sales
force that generates leads, boosts sales and leverages marketing
dollars. Here are three basic ways to persuade people to talk up your
business story. As you develop the customer sales force, you’ll find
other options suited to your business.

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Filed under marketing, Referrals, Small Business Marketing, Viral, Word-of-Mouth

First Ever DemoCampVancouver Launching in 2007


Digg!

I’m getting involved in helping to organize DemoCampVancouver with Megan Cole of Raincity Studios. The goal of DemoCampVancouver is to bring together individuals from different business sectors and have a technology “show and tell” of hardware and software that businesses can integrate in their marketing, management and other areas. We’re looking at potentially having the event coincide with Northen Voice and Moosecamp which takes place February 23rd and 24th, 2007. I encourage you to participate, attend or volunteer. If you are unfamiliar with the format of DemoCamp, it is a light-weight variation of the un-conference BarCamp, and lasts only a couple of hours on a weekday evening, as opposed to a multi-day event. And like BarCamp, it takes place in a casual , open atmosphere, with a nominal donation fee ($10 to $20) to cover costs, and everyone is welcome! For a full list of guidelines, click here. Our hope is to have DemoCampVancouver take place every two months in and around the city. Stay tuned and spread the word. Drop me a line if you have any questions.

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Filed under marketing, Referrals, Small Business Marketing, Trade Shows, Viral, Word-of-Mouth