''Tell your parents that they are wasting their money!'' Cruel words from my piano teacher? Well, maybe cruel words from a woman at the end of her tether; she had just heard me playing 'Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring' ...
Is your time management more JS Bach or Freddie Mercury?
My problem with the piano was that I could never get my left hand to keep the same rhythm as my right. Those of you familiar with this piece by Bach will cringe in sympathy with my teacher. Those who don’t know it can watch the clip below to hear an expert, then imagine my version.
There are several lessons I learnt from this memory. Two obvious ones are, if you want to learn a skill you’d better practice a lot, and also know your limitations. Concert pianist was never to be my destiny.
The third lesson is worth more attention than I paid to my piano lessons. Get the rhythm going in the background and then let the melody come through.
"How can you apply this to your referral marketing?"
What makes up your rhythm, those strong repeated patterns of actions you take that underpins your whole referral marketing plan? All the regular activities you undertake to stimulate referrals for you and your referral partners.
Attending your regular networking groups, posting on social media, writing a blog post, sending out mailers. Then there’s responding, promoting and sharing your partners' offerings too.
Your aim is to stay front of mind for your referral partners and prospects, so find a pace that you can maintain. Starting out with wild enthusiasm like Little Richard may have an impact, but can you sustain that frenetic pace for long. In marketing, a little often is better than erratic grand gestures. Save them for the melody.
A caution here about the temptation to automate all your background activities. The aim is to build relationships so the personal touch will resonate with your audience in a way that even the cleverest mass message will not.
Think of the difference between someone playing the piano well and listening to a pianola. Even with modern electronic automated rhythms, you respond more emotionally when the human touch is there. That sense that the person is playing just for you. It is that emotional connection that will inspire and motivate people to respond.
"Now you ready to add the melody!"
These are the larger specific actions you do with your partners. Having one to one strategy meetings and actively looking for and giving referrals.
Then there’s updating your website, brochures and other collateral. Lastly, undertaking speaking engagements, writing articles and books to demonstrate your expertise.
Here, make sure you are playing your song. In other words, that these activities reflect you and your values and beliefs rather than some standard marketing message. You want your referral partners to join in with you.
Find your voice and style. Are you more Bach or Freddie Mercury? Both inspire me, but I find it easier to keep the rhythm when I’m singing along with 'We will Rock You' than getting my left and right hand in sync with Bach.
"Would you like to know more?"
If you'd like to talk further about anything I've said here, or want to understand referral marketing better, do call me on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
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