The biggest question I was asked at our recent Cafe Coach Cafe workshop was:

“Rita, times are tough and I can’t afford to spend money on marketing or advertising. What do I do to maintain my current takings and cash flow?”

The reality is that in the last few years ‘CAFE Sales have fallen by the biggest margin in decades, as consumers felt the brunt of high interest rates and petrol prices…’

So What Do You Do?

Here’s one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use and it lives right under your very nose. Best of all, it’s FREE.

It’s called Word-Of-Mouth Referral Marketing

I was at a business seminar recently. The presenter asked a question of the audience to determine which was their most powerful marketing strategies. As it turns out, referral marketing was the number one strategy to get new business.

This was pretty obvious. What made most people feel uncomfortable was when he asked how many people have a formal, documented strategy for getting referrals…

That’s when most of the hands in the room went down. Then when he asked about multiple strategies, even more dropped out.

It blows me away to see so few people have no idea how to increase the amount of referrals they get. The typical answer is ‘but we do a really good job’ and hope people will talk about it or mention them if they speak to someone… This is NOT a referral marketing strategy. It is more of a “Weak Wish’ and a sure way to get NO new business at all.

Let’s Look At Why Referrals Are So Powerful For Your Cafe

In any sales situation, we always need to make two sales. First we need to sell ourselves by building trust and rapport. Then we can sell our products.

The brilliant thing about referrals is that the first sale is made by someone else! There’s two advantages to you here – number one, a third-party talking about you holds heaps of credibility, number two, it’s great leverage of your time.

Referral marketing strategy means you need to ‘find ways to do what you do so well and so uniquely that your customers cannot resist telling lots of other people about you’.

How To Get This Referral Machine Working For You

Sample referral coffee voucher used by the Cafe Coach, Rita Zhang

Here are five simple referral marketing tips:

  1. Make sure your product is being delivered with consistency. You need to give people what they expect. Make great coffees consistently every cup, every day.
  2. Add some low cost, high-perceived value touches to your delivery process (i.e. a free slice after the meal). This makes the difference between satisfying your clients and delighting them.
  3. Look for ways to get customers talking about you. ‘Offer Free Massages’ at your cafe to your customers will get them talking. Offer ‘Free Lunch for Dads’ on Father’s day will get them talking and into your door.
  4. Keep innovating. A cookie with a coffee used to be a surprise, now it’s expected. You always need to be thinking of new ways to WOW your customers. That way, you won’t even have to worry about the competition.
  5. Simply Ask for the Referral. Don’t be afraid to ask. If your client is satisfied with you, ask them to bring in their friend, colleagues and family. Give them a referral card or a couple of coffee vouchers to pass onto their friends. You don’t need to spend money to pay your printer to get this done. A simple computer print out will do A coffee voucher can look like the sample below.

Follow these simple steps and watch the quality and quantity of clients soar through the roof.