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A Little “Grease” Might Serve You Well

The following headline recently caught my attention. (Effective headlines do just that… stop us in our tracks and “grab our attention and interest.”

“Amid fierce competition for deposits, a growing number of banks are relying on customer referrals to expand their business. And, they’re using freebies to attract your friends and family.”

As we all know, referrals are the fastest and most economical way to procure new business. But referrals are not as easy to come by as marketing text books lead us to believe. In fact, experience tells me that they are quite difficult.

I recently learned that certain Tractor Dealers found that a “thank-you” $100 bill slipped into the hands of a tractor owner who referred a neighbor was money well spent. Then, according to Wachovia Bank in the article highlighted above, a $25 Visa gift card passed on to both the referrer and the referee translates to “money in the bank.” Other banks including Bank of America, Banco Popular and the Bank of Oklahoma have adopted a point system where customers can cash in on airline tickets. You call it “points,” I call it “grease.”  I say tomato…you say tow-mah-toe.
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“Deposits have always been competitive, but it’s more competitive today because of Internet banks. It’s no longer just a bank’s location.”

In this case, a guy named Gary Cohn went on to say, “The harder a bank makes it for you to leave, the less you’re likely to do so. If I bring a friend or family member in, then it complicates my life.”

Competition is driving everybody to distraction today. Banks. Travel Agencies. Real Estate Agents. Financial Planners, etc. The Internet is driving everybody bonkers. Everybody realizes that referrals are the cheap and most efficient way to go. So my advice to you is to go get yourself some referral business.

But Mike, this is a lot easier said than done. How can I get more referrals?

Simple. By blowing the doors of your current customer base and by asking them for help. And maybe, (just maybe) by offering your customers a little grease for a little help.

Is this graft? NO! I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS.

You might sleep better if you think of it as “greasing” the skids or by showing your appreciation. Airlines have been “rewarding” their faithful for years. And like it or not, the system works. WIIFM is a moniker that holds water last year, this year and in the years to come. (What’s In it For Me.)


Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at mike@mikemarchev.com for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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