Coachella Valley’s Digital Marketing Leader

71905 CA-111 Suite E-1, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270


My Business Runs on Referrals

How Can I Get More Referrals?

It is impossible to dispute that “word of mouth” can be a business or entrepreneurs’ greatest source of new customers.

This being true, how do we increase the frequency of others referring to us as a trusted business without being salesy or feeling like you’re hounding people?

One of the best ways to do this is to give them a story. This is when those having done business with you, or know you, have something to say about you, the quality of your products, or your amazing customer service.

A Story They Remember and Repeat

The stories others share about you, your employees, or your company can make or break you. Harvard Business Review found that “if your star rating went up by just one star, it leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.”

“On the other hand, if there are excessive negative articles or reviews while people search about a company, a business can expect to lose 59.2% of their customers!”

A business can simply not afford negative press as the dominant message when people research before making a decision to buy.

So, let’s take control of the narrative and the story.

As this section is titled, create positive stories they remember and want to share with others.


Where Most Businesses Get It (the story) Wrong

When a business tries sharing a positive, share-worthy story about their business, they often do it incorrectly. 

They typically begin sharing details about the company, how long they’ve been doing what they do, and “blah-blah-blah.”

Don’t get me wrong. At some point in this relationship, the potential buyers may truly want to know some of these things, but, surprisingly, it is rare.

What they want to know is “Can you solve my problem?” and “Can you do it in a timely manner at a fair price?”

This is where storytelling comes in.

The best way to explain what I mean is by giving an example from personal experience.

Stories that are Gateways to Referrals

On Tuesday mornings, I attend a business networking meeting. In the meeting, we go around and introduce ourselves and share something unique about who we serve and close with “the customer you could send us.”

This is a new group for me, but most of the members have been in five or more years and are extremely polished at this portion, and I find it very valuable.


Because rarely do they stand up and tell how great they are, how long they’ve been in business, or all the awards they’ve won. They always make it about the customers and how working with them with their product or service solved their ideal customer’s problem.

An example today that stuck with me and, of course, is now share-worthy was a story shared by a member who is a banker.

She shared how technology for many is nice, yet some of their older clients struggle with online banking, automation, and touchless this, and it can drive them crazy.

On this morning, she shared how a 91-year-old woman was having that problem with technology. All this particular customer wanted was some old-fashioned service. No matter how many times the member reset the online password, the older woman still had trouble.

The banker then explained and offered a service I did not know existed, a courier service. The bank has a bank courier come by the bank-customer’s home allowing her to make a physical deposit with a bank representative. She no longer has to worry or fuss with technology.

Needless to say, I would suspect this bank and banker made a very special bond and certainly created a story this woman will share with others about how special she was treated.

But This Isn’t the Real Power of This Story

Yes, this woman would, from time to time, share this story and undoubtedly send this bank a new customer. But is there another way the banker and the bank can help this story go a little viral?

I say yes and refer to this single story as the “gateway message.”

A Gateway Message is a story demonstrating the business doing what they do, only through the eyes of the customer: Explaining what this meant to them and how it changed how they thought it had to be done.

The way we leverage this is simply to do what I am doing, write an article and then share it with your database.

This may be your email database, your newsletter database, or even your social media followers. I would recommend running an ad for your article.

The reason we want to share this story is that now you are providing people who already know and trust you with more to talk about when they are with others. Some of these others may be people who are unhappy with their current bank or services, and your story allows them to seamlessly insert this story from a position of being genuine and caring, versus feeling like they’re selling or pushing you onto their friends.

Gateway Juice

I highly suggest you stop in your business and think about at least five gateway stories you to share with your database. Each story may touch on a different aspect of your business: parts, service, sales, production, and so on.

If you, off the top of your head, don’t have a gateway message, begin listening to the stories your staff and current customers share. I promise it will take no time to have many more than five stories to share with your existing customers, who will love sharing “feel-good stories” about you and your business.

In the end, you will see more referrals and more opportunities to share “Gateway Messages.”

How Often Should I Send a Gateway Message?

If you can, send one out at least once a month and as frequently as once per week. A nice bonus is you will begin seeing your open rates go up because you are never trying to sell anyone anything; you’re just sharing stories.

SwingPointMedia is a marketing company focused on using content marketing, such as written articles, video and podcasts, to attract their customers ideal audiences. This approach has proven to attract higher quality customers while simultaneously reducing the sales cycle by as much as 70%.
SwingPointMedia serves local businesses in Southern California and can be reached by calling 760-422-5176.
You are invited to also attend a free weekly presentation, providing you the tools and strategy to roll out your own content marketing program for your company, or see exactly what SwingPointMedia does for its clients to achieve success. It can be viewed live on SwingPointMedia’s YouTube channel, at 11 am pst.