Getting customers is the easy part, keeping them is a different story.

First, how do you make customers? Being in a relationship marketing business, I talk to everyone and always ask for referrals. Everyone you meet has a different circle of influence you can tap into, as long as you develop the relationship so they trust your intentions, meaning they know you want to make a positive difference in people’s lives, not make a quick buck. 

I always give my customers and their referrals a discount on their orders. Many customers have migrated into the business after seeing how easy it is to refer people. To keep track of referrals, I use brochures and number code them. I send out a gift card for each referral I receive. Many business owners are looking for other income streams and when their customers report positive changes, they are more likely to join as well. 

Advertising still works, but social media is the new giant in getting the word out about yourself, your product, and your company. When people get results, they tend to share them through pictures on social media, which attracts “likes,” comments, and more “shares.” Tapping into this market can be huge, especially if your company has a global presence. The Internet can bring people from around the globe right to your doorstep, if you know how to use it. 

When your company heads into a new market, or you just want to reach outside your local area, use social media to look for contacts there. Start building relationships. Scout out leaders in the region. Look for individuals who are outgoing, caring, motivated, and already successful. Share with people but don’t overwhelm them. Remember to sell yourself to them, not your company. When people know, like, and trust you, they are more willing to help you by sharing their contacts with you.

An ever growing list of customers relates to an unlimited group of potential business partners. It truly is not who you know that matters most, but who they know, and who their friends know. One referral has brought over 17,000 distributors into my team, so never prejudge anyone or underestimate the “power of one.” 

Now the hard part—how to keep your customers. It’s all about building the relationship and treating people the way you want to be treated. Follow-up is crucial, especially in the first few weeks to months when you are building that friendship. Go the extra mile when appropriate. When you impress someone this way, not only could you have a customer or business partner for years into the future, but an ever expanding warm market of new referrals and an endless circle of friends and leaders that may one day reach around the globe.

A single mom to two grown children, JACKI SMITH resides in Hurst, Texas, and Accra, Ghana. She has been a network marketing professional for twenty-seven years, making a difference in people’s lives around the globe.