‘National Referral Week’, March 9-13 2009, is a new initiative for UK businesses to: ‘get referrals, grow your business, beat the downturn - for free’. The objective is to help kick-start new business growth and confidence nationally - fast – without additional promotional cost for hard-pressed enterprises by highlighting the opportunities from a well-organised referral programme to generate sales leads from contacts. Further details at http://referralweek.blogspot.com/
Businesses are struggling in the recession, but often there isn’t sufficient money available for the comprehensive marketing programmes required to grow, say the organisers of ‘National Referral Week’. Bank funding for such programmes is often in short supply - as is revenue from buyers who increasingly have reined in their spending. So there is now the danger of a downward spiral of disinvestment in marketing and contracting revenues for the vital SME sector in particular – despite the best efforts of Government and other agencies and industry associations that support business.
‘National Referral Week’is a coordinated response to the recession in the UK and the need to jump-start the process of growth by creating new business opportunities, fast. It is a not-for-profit initiative - any and every business can participate and benefit and there is no charge for doing so, say the organisers. All that is required of each business to win referrals is this:-
1. An understanding of how to generate referrals,
2. A belief and determination to do so and
3. A simple plan to execute a referral programme.
Referral skills can be learned from a book. However it is far more effective to educate and encourage as large a number as possible of UK businesspeople, collectively, in the essential skills of generating referrals – to reach a ‘tipping point’ to stimulate economic growth. By raising awareness in this way it will increase the sales capabilities of UK plc and also fuel new purchasing activity too - it is the speed and volume of the flow of money that is so critical to our economic performance.
The intention for the week of March 9-11 is to highlight the opportunities and to announce further events and other support activities. Clearly, immediate action is required as soon as possible to help businesses.
So why is the referral marketing initiative needed? Some businesspeople are naturally good at asking for referrals, and do so regularly - most people need some advice, support and encouragement. The key challenges to address for businesses that want to get good referrals are these:-
1. How do you ask for a referral, to get the best results, and without embarrassment?
2. What do you say or do, what tools or other material do you need?
3. Whom do you contact and how? How often?
4. Can you ‘incentivise’ the process to improve results?
5. Is it just contacts you know – can you ask other people for referrals too?
Sponsored and organised in the UK by Sales Process Engineering Sales Process Engineering, the recession marketing initiative was originated in the USA by make a referral week.
Further details on National Referral Week: http://referralweek.blogspot.com/
Patrick Rea, Sales Process Engineering, The Picture House, 315 Holdenhurst Road Bournemouth BH8 8BX
www.salesprocess.co.uk T 020 8870 4976
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