Why Christian Business Women Need to Increase Referrals

I recently visited a new restaurant that had great food and exceptional service.  Before leaving I was looking for their card so I could start referring people to them.  Getting referrals is imperative to every self-employed business owner.  Referrals can mean the difference between not having new clients and having a thriving business. Christian business women need to get know how to inspire customers to give them referrals on an ongoing basis to improve business.

One of the best features of a customer who comes as a referral is that they come with a mindset to make a purchase.  Therefore, you have to do very little if any selling.   What you have to do is have consistent service and products that make that new person want to buy based on the referral and to become another person that does effective referrals for you. That leaves you more time to run your business and make money.  So what are some secret to getting better, and more frequent referrals?

Referrals Come by Word of Mouth Marketing – So Encourage People to Talk 

People make a referral by talking about you.  This might be one of the only times when you want to encourage people to make you the target of their conversation.  Word of mouth marketing seems like a natural thing but it really doesn’t always just happen.  Just think about how many great places you’re been to that you don’t talk about with others?  With so many places to visit and so much on your mind, you probably just don’t think about different business you’ve enjoyed or even more simply, you just forget.  That is why the ability to get good referrals is an art as well as a marketing skill.  You need to control the thinking of your customers to make them want to pass the word along about how great you are.

Know Your Referral Sources and Track Them

Hopefully you can tell the people who have referred others to you in the past. Consider creating a special plan to keep track of these referral sources and keep them talking.  For example, you might send them a coupon for your products or services just to let them know how much you appreciate them. That means you need to set up some type of system to start tracking your customers and the people they refer. Do this by getting them on an email mailing list and sending them a notice of specials, sales, discounts, or special events.  Offer them something special when a referral drops their name, and then get the new referral on your mailing list too!

Be Great at Saying Thanks

As soon as you receive a referral, connect with the source and thank them. You can automate the process to make it easier. For example, when you receive a referral, generate an automatic email response to the referral source to thank them for spreading the word.  Come up with some type of gift such as a discount code to thank them. Depending on your niche and your business model, offering a discount can be a great way to motivate repeat referrals.

Apply the 10 x 10 Rule

The 10×10 rule works like this. Make a list of 10 complimentary industries to yours. For example, if you make health food for dogs, complimentary industries could be dog trainers, groomers, and pet retailers. Once you have your list of ten industries, do a bit of research and find 10 professionals from each of those industries that you can connect with for referrals. You now have 100 potential referral sources. Get busy and find ways to connect with these people. Introduce yourself, learn more about their business and educate them about yours. Suggest a mutual system of referring business to each other.

Be Sure to Ask for Referrals 

When a client says she enjoyed your service or product, or that you do a wonderful job for them, thank them and ask for a referral.  The best time to do this is when the good service or product is in the mind of the customer.  Asking for the referral helps to solidifies you in that person’s mind.  Ask the customer if she has a business card and say you want to put them on your business email list or special mailings. Be sure to send a thank-you card to that customer. It never hurts to include something special such as a discount or gift card as appropriate.

As a Christian woman in business, you really need to make the person who referred you feel glad that they did. Now, they will be more likely to do it again. Referrals are a wonderful business builder. Create a strategy to build your referral business; then you can focus more on providing spectacular products and services while satisfied customers help to drum up new business.

Glowing From Aglow Retreat

Praise God, I just returned home from a glorious two day retreat given by the Central Coast  Aglow International Organization.   According to information from the organizational webs “Aglow began in 1967 with four women who expressed a desire to meet together as Christians without denominational boundaries.”  The brochure adds that “Aglow International l is a transdenominational organization of Christian women and men with more than 4,00 local group in nearly 170 nations.”

I’ve been familiar with the organization for several years and know them to have some pretty dynamic speakers and teachers of God’s Word.  However, this was my first retreat with the group.  The beautiful thing is that I was home praying one day and told the Lord I really needed to go to a women’s retreat where I could meet some wonderful sisters in the Lord and refresh my soul.  The very next day, I got an email about this retreat; that was a total miracle!  Well, the retreat certainly was a refreshing to my soul and spirit.

The speaker was Julia Reiff, the California State Prayer Coordinator of Aglow International.  Julia is gifted in the areas of teaching preaching, intercession, & counseling and known throughout the Body of Christ for ministering healing and restoration to the broken-hearted.  For three sessions, we were blessed with a deep word from the Lord concerning the healing of the soul in order to allow God’s full purpose for each of us to manifest in the Spirit.  It was a wonderful spirit-filled event held in a location just steps from the beach in Pismo Beach, CA., which added to the peacefulness of the weekend.

If you are not familiar with Aglow International go to their website to learn more.  They even have an Institute of Ministry that provides multiples Bible related courses to enhance your knowledge of God’s word.

 

Tomorrow Never Comes – Start Living for Today

Tomorrow never comes; once tomorrow gets here it’s today. Waiting for tomorrow to do what you should have started long ago is only going to keep you from ever succeeding.

It’s so easy to get into the habit of saying “Wait” or “I’ll do that later” instead of taking up the mantel of responsibility and just getting on with living life fully today. This isn’t saying you have to ignore the facts:

  • Yes, the timing must be right to pursue your dreams.
  • Yes, you have to get the right obligations out of the way, like taking care of family, children, elderly parents, if that’s what you are supposed to do.
  • Yes, you may have to finish the fight on the hard challenge that have come your way.

But once those have gone and you know the time is now, you have to get started on living the true purpose of your life.

  • Do you ever wonder why certain people have a yearning in the heart to do something big?
  • Do you think this is a universal yearning or do you think some people are content to be where they are in life?

It seems that for some the yearning is stronger or more real than others. I believe everyone is born with a purpose to fulfill in life that will leave the world a better place as a result. That task may be small or only touch one single life. But touching that life will cause a ripple effect that will reach out to places unknown.

I also believe that some people refuse to do what is on their heart. Knowing that there is a great thing to do, they refuse to answer that life calling and ignore it until life is over for them.

  • You know in your heart that you are supposed to be doing more.
  • You know you are supposed to be doing greater things.

I believe a life purpose is set in the heart of every person at birth. When you refuse to heed the persistence of that life calling, you live a life unfulfilled.

  • Are you denying the call of your life purpose?
  • Are you letting the past, or your fears, or unforgiveness, or confusion keep you from identifying what is great about you so you can start sharing it with the world?

I’ve been in settings where the most unlikely person got up and made a presentation that changed the direction of everyone in the room. Through very simple words or a brief exercise or by sharing a piece of art or playing a simple arpeggio, lives were changed.

What about you?

What are you supposed to be doing with your life? When will you start doing it? Drop a comment and tell us your commitment to Live Live Fully Today!

Also, check out the lesson of Queen Esther.  She probably never thought her day would come either but teaches Christian Business Women to wait on the Lord who will reveal your life calling in due time.  Click HERE to check it out.

Work Diligently for the Lord – Proverbs 12:24

Here’s something good for you today: “The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.” (Prov. 12:24, Peterson)

This idea really speaks to the type of attitude a Christian business woman should have.   Being diligent means to stay the course that Christ has given you to follow, no matter what you encounter and at least until He gives you a new direction to take.  In planning your day, dedicate all of it to the Lord and keep your eyes on the prize that He has promised to you.

I know a lot of people who choose not to be diligent in their work.  Their attitudes are very different than the people who love to work, even when they are tired or not seeing immediate results from their efforts. The non-diligent are easily discouraged and need a lot of motivation from other people to keep going.  They often complain about their work and talk about being elsewhere.  If these people are trying to be entrepreneurs, they find it difficult to get going and succeed.  Being in business on your own takes a lot of diligence and without it, success will be hard to achieve.

On the other side, the diligent people get a real sense of peace from working hard. That peace brings the freedom that doing work with the Lord in mind promises.   Instead of seeing the negative, there is only the positive about what happens in the workday.   Customers get served with a smile.  Even tough times provide lessons that only make work easier on the next try.

Think about you attitude as you work.  Are you being diligent in all that you do?  Are you feeling the freedom that comes through working with that joy in your heart?  Have a great work day my sisters.

Get support to work diligently in your business by joining NACWIB.  For only an annual fee or low monthly investment, get access to a business planning workshop, a workshop on setting your business up on the Internet, WordPress videos and much more.  Each month, new support materials are added to help you have success in your business.  Click HERE to join NACWIB today.

Cut Distractions for Better Time Management

If you want to boost your productivity, learn to cut distractions out of your day.  When you do, you will instantly get more focused, be able to get more done in a day and feel less stressed – all at the same time.

Distractions during the workday might not seem harmful.  After all, what’s the big deal behind “just” 10 minutes of Facebook, or a quick chat with your co-worker, or answering that phone call by your significant other?

In reality, though, these distractions can really cut down on your productivity. Here’s why and what to do about it.

1. The True Cost of Distractions

Distractions are deceptively dangerous. Most people fail to see the true cost behind distracting activities. To illustrate the point, let’s look at Facebook.  If you’re doing 10-minute Facebook sessions throughout your day, it doesn’t just cost you 10 minutes of productivity.

For one, you’ll often have to spend quite a bit of time getting back into gear once you stop checking Facebook. It also prevents you from getting in “The Zone.”  You can only have periods of focused work can only happen without distraction.

Let’s say you take five 10-minute Facebook sessions throughout the day. It takes you 10 minutes to get back into work mode after Facebooking.  That’s a whopping 1 hour and 40 minutes out of your day from just Facebook alone.  Once you add in all the different distracting activities in a day, you can see how it quickly adds up. 10-minute distractions might not seem like much, but over the course of a day they make a big difference.

2. Cut Out Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Email, StumbleUpon, etc

Perhaps the most important types of distractions you could cut out are digital distractions. Sites like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, StumbleUpon and even email should be off limits during the workday.  Email can be checked at specific times in the day, like in the morning, at noon and at the end of the work day. Incessantly checking email is just distracting, not productive.

3. Interpersonal Distractions

Other common types of distractions include water cooler conversations, phone calls, “just popping in” co-workers and so on. If you run a home business, distractions could include your spouse, the kids or roommates if you live with others.

Set up a system so the people who work or live with you know when you need to get productive work done. It could be something as direct as a sign on the door, or something as indirect as a pair of headphones in your ears. If someone tries to distract you, just politely let them know you’re not available, unless it’s urgent.

Cutting out distracting activities will make a big difference on your concentration and on the amount of productive work you get done in a day. Try it for a week or two to see how it works for you.

Get more time management and productivity tips.  The Productivity audio offers 21 fast tips for increasing your productivity without increasing your stress.  Click HERE to check it out.