A big challenge that many of us face in marketing is that we usually have a lot of competitors.

And the reality is that many of our competitors are very good at what they do.

In other words, potential customers have a lot of different places that they can spend their hard earned money with.

So what can you do to encourage potential customers to choose your business over many of your competitors?

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One way to get people to choose your business is do things that encourage people to positively recommend your business to other people they know.

It's so much easier to make a sale to someone you have been referred to comparted to someone who has been referred.

I was thinking recently about the various businesses I know that I'm happy to recommend to other people.

And I realised that I'm happy to recommend these businesses for a number of different reasons.

Reason 1: They are simply outstanding at what they do

A good example is a fish and chip shop in Whitianga that I had the pleasure of visiting again two days ago.

(For Herald readers outside New Zealand, Whitianga is a delightful little township on the Coromandel Peninsula.)

I was in Whitianga after doing a few hours of training for an upcoming cycle event.

I went to what I consider is one of the best fish and chip shops in the country.

It is a place called 'Snapper Jacks' and I was first introduced to this shop over a year ago by a good friend who told me it was fantastic.

I tried it out for the first time last year and found it was truly outstanding.

So on my latest visit I ate again but this time I bought 8 cycling friends with me.

Once again my burger, fish and chips were amazing. The burger was a beautiful sour dough roll with a huge meat patty, lovely salad and dressing. It was also a huge size and every mouthful was delicious.

The fish was fresh and tasted amazing. And the chips came in their very own white card board box and were equally as nice as the burger and fish.

All my friends enjoyed their meals as well. I'm going back to Whitianga in a few weeks for my cycle event and I'll definitely be visiting Snapper Jacks yet again.

Marketing Lesson 1:

If you are very good at what you do it makes it very easy for your clients and customers to recommend you to other people they know.

Reason 2: The business makes you feel special in the way that they treat you

Around 18 months ago I received two Gold Class Movie Gift Cards worth $100 each from Paul Vujnovich the owner of Harveys Real Estate in Te Atatu, Auckland.

I had introduced a family member to Paul and his team and they had done a great job selling their home for an excellent price. Paul sent me these Gold Class Movie Tickets to say thank you for my introduction.

I felt very special after receiving this unexpected gift from Paul and have already told a lot of people about my positive experience. (Including Herald readers like you.)

Marketing lesson 2:

When you do something unexpected to make people feel good it makes it very easy for them to positively recommend your business.

Summary:

There are many ways to get people positively recommending your business.

Two ways worth considering are:
1. Become very good at what you do.

2. Make people feel special.

Think about how you could use any (or both) of these strategies in your own business.

'It is not your customer job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don't have the chance to forget you.' - Patricia Fripp

Take Action:

Think about your own business.

What can you do to make it easy for your clients and customers to recommend your business to other people they know?

Could you become outstanding at what you do?

Could you make people feel special and appreciated?