by Stephanie Padovani – Guest Blogger
Most interior designers engage in some kind of networking. They sign up for a local Chamber of Commerce, join BNI or attend local business mixers. They shake hands, exchange business cardsâ€¦and see little or no results.
So how can you stand out from all those other interior designers who have their hands out for referrals?
Get Them Something to Remember and Refer You
Back when my husband and I were building our wedding business from literally nothing, we had to come up with a way to get people to remember us. We desperately needed to make a lasting impression that made them (1) remember us, (2) like us, and (3) REFER us.
We came up with an ideaâ€¦
Every time we met another professional who could possibly send us business (wedding venues, photographers, caterers, etc.), I made sure to get their business card and jotted down some notes after our conversation.
The next day I would send them a postcard with a picture of us and a hand-written note specifically referencing our conversation.
People were just blown away! They couldnâ€™t believe the thoughtfulness of a hand-written note; it was proof that I was actually listening and cared enough to send it.
That simple postcard sent us hundreds of referrals and solidified dozens of powerful networking relationships. We became known for sending the card, and other professionals would tease, â€œHey, when do I get mine?â€
The Unforgettable Postcard
This is a deceptively simple but supremely effective marketing strategy. Simply have postcards printed up with an attractive photo of you on the front and your business name and contact information, with a blank space on the back. After each interaction with another design professional, send them a post card with a personal note.
Why does this work so well?
When youâ€™re networking, everyone exchanges cards. Everyoneâ€™s looking out for themselves.
But when you follow the steps of the Unforgettable Postcard strategy, theyâ€™ll remember you, like you, and want to send design clients your way. Youâ€™re showing you care in a way they remember. And when it comes time to send a referral, you get the business.
3 Steps to Turbocharge Your Referrals
Print up postcards with an attractive photo of you on them.
People hate to throw out pictures! Theyâ€™ll hang on to the postcard with your photo on it about 10 times longer than a â€œnormalâ€ postcard.
Include a personal detail.
Donâ€™t simply sign your name on the postcard. Write something specific about the conversation you had: Follow up with a tip, congratulate them on an accomplishment, or thank them for the advice.
Keep doing it.
Powerful networking partnerships arenâ€™t formed overnight. Send a postcard after each and every interaction. Schedule a time on your calendar to touch base with key networking partners on a regular basis.
The more you use this strategy, the more it works for you. Itâ€™s simple, easy and youâ€™ll , see results quickly as long as youâ€™re consistent.
Never underestimate the power of the postcard!
What is the value of a referral??