An organizations strategy to drive revenue should include processes to develop customers, to retain customers, and to turn customers into referral agents. Developing referral agents can be accomplished by including a process to turn customers into friends. Friends are much more likely to refer business to you than persons who are not. Amazingly, it can be easy to develop friendships with customers. In non-business settings, acquaintances can begin evolving into friends by sending a gift, or an invitation to an event. This same process can be used in business and it can be done with very low cost.

For example, host evening or late afternoon events such as art museum visits or 9-hole golf events and use email to invite everyone on your customer list in the metro area to attend. Only a small percentage of customers may attend but everyone will appreciate the invitation. The cost to send the email invitation is almost nothing. The cost to host the event may be one or two thousand dollars, but this will be money worth spending because it will provide time with customers. The events will help turn customers into friends and friends are more likely to be long-term customers that will refer others.

Other examples may include gifts such as $5 or $10 gift cards, or free service upgrades which may not cost anything.

The event or gift processes can be used for customers of almost any annual spend. This means if a customer is worth $300 or more in annual revenue then they should be included on your event invitation list. Often you’ll have customers worth many thousands of dollars in revenue per year. Include them on your event invitation and gift lists.