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REFERRALS: When your customers view each-other as competition? HELP

Marketing, social media, advertising

Looking4CENTS

New Contributor
Jan 23, 2023
6
5
Canada
I run a business in a niche where our customers feel they are in direct, intense competition with each-other.

The product we sell, is a suite of information and tools that provides them an edge in developing and selling product.

Part of the allure of our product/service is very limited enrolment and completely private resources.

Now... as entrepreneurs we understand that its not a zero sum game, although we are all technically in competition. However this psychology is VERY STRONG in my market; so strong that we used it as a compelling sales point.

In essence, they DONT WANT other people to find out about the product, as its their 'secret advantage'.


MY QUESTION IS : What are some techniques I can use to get referrals from these customers?

Thus far my only theorized solution is to ask for strong testimonials from them - perhaps on a third party platform like trustpilot , and in-turn leverage those testimonials to create WOM. I know thats not really a referral but its the best I can think of.

At the end of the day my main mission comes down to creating WOM for a product who's customers want to keep it a secret.

I know that businesses have dealt with this problem set in the past, but im having a hard time coming up with techniques for this.

Please let me know if you have any insights and techniques!


Thank you,
Dan
 
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Last edited:

Practic

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 29, 2022
286
141
I run a business in a niche where our customers feel they are in direct, intense competition with each-other.

The product we sell, is suite of information and tools that provides them an edge in developing and selling product.

Part of the allure of our product/service is very limited enrolment and completely private resources.

Now... as entrepreneurs we understand that its not a zero sum game, although we are all technically in competition. However this psychology is VERY STRONG in my market; so strong that we used it as a compelling sales point.

In essence, they DONT WANT other people to find out about the product, as its their 'secret advantage'.


MY QUESTION IS : What are some techniques I can use to get referrals from these customers?

Thus far my only theorized solution is to ask for strong testimonials from them - perhaps on a third party platform like trustpilot , and in-turn leverage those testimonials to create WOM. I know thats not really a referral but its the best I can think of.

At the end of the day my main mission comes down to creating WOM for a product who's customers want to keep it a secret.

I know that businesses have dealt with this problem set in the past, but im having a hard time coming up with techniques for this.

Please let me know if you have any insights and techniques!


Thank you,
Dan
"What are some techniques I can use to get referrals from these customers?"

Offer them strong financial stimulus to do referrals, by introducing income sharing programs.
 

Practic

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 29, 2022
286
141
This one definitely crossed my mind. I'm going to give it a shot.
In this case your customers will be differentiating all people on two groups. The first group will be a group of direct competitors or people connected to the competitors and the second group will be those not considered as competitors or connected to competitors. If your income sharing program give them a strong financial stimulus they will refer to you those in the second group.
 
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thechosen1

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
3,428
7,458
Republic of Texas
Your product is too vague for me to really help, but let me give you some examples of products and businesses where the customers are in INTENSE competition with each other, but the business owner thrives and makes tons of money anyway:

Franchises: McDonald's makes billions even though franchisees are obviously competing with one another to sell the same burgers and fries. They split up by location.

MLM: Yes, most of us hate them, but companies like Mary Kay and CutCo are still going strong for a reason, usually serving different territories.

Strip malls and multi-unit commercial real estate: ever seen a building with two nail salons or babershops? It can work. They are often complementary or have just slightly different offerings.
 

Looking4CENTS

New Contributor
Jan 23, 2023
6
5
Canada
Your product is too vague for me to really help, but let me give you some examples of products and businesses where the customers are in INTENSE competition with each other, but the business owner thrives and makes tons of money anyway:

Franchises: McDonald's makes billions even though franchisees are obviously competing with one another to sell the same burgers and fries. They split up by location.

MLM: Yes, most of us hate them, but companies like Mary Kay and CutCo are still going strong for a reason, usually serving different territories.

Strip malls and multi-unit commercial real estate: ever seen a building with two nail salons or babershops? It can work. They are often complementary or have just slightly different offerings.
Thank you very much for your response - its spurred some really good ideas for me to work on.
 

Kevin88660

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
2,287
2,775
Singapore
I run a business in a niche where our customers feel they are in direct, intense competition with each-other.

The product we sell, is a suite of information and tools that provides them an edge in developing and selling product.

Part of the allure of our product/service is very limited enrolment and completely private resources.

Now... as entrepreneurs we understand that its not a zero sum game, although we are all technically in competition. However this psychology is VERY STRONG in my market; so strong that we used it as a compelling sales point.

In essence, they DONT WANT other people to find out about the product, as its their 'secret advantage'.


MY QUESTION IS : What are some techniques I can use to get referrals from these customers?

Thus far my only theorized solution is to ask for strong testimonials from them - perhaps on a third party platform like trustpilot , and in-turn leverage those testimonials to create WOM. I know thats not really a referral but its the best I can think of.

At the end of the day my main mission comes down to creating WOM for a product who's customers want to keep it a secret.

I know that businesses have dealt with this problem set in the past, but im having a hard time coming up with techniques for this.

Please let me know if you have any insights and techniques!


Thank you,
Dan
Indeed it does strange that you expect referrals when you are servicing to B. It is more common for to C with larger target audience.

At the end of the day is to have a channel of low acquisition cost. Referral is one way. There could be other ways to leverage the good experience they have. Upsell other services. Create a Tiktok/youtube account to document the good experience your customer has.

It doesn’t have to be referrals.
 
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Looking4CENTS

New Contributor
Jan 23, 2023
6
5
Canada
Indeed it does strange that you expect referrals when you are servicing to B. It is more common for to C with larger target audience.

At the end of the day is to have a channel of low acquisition cost. Referral is one way. There could be other ways to leverage the good experience they have. Upsell other services. Create a Tiktok/youtube account to document the good experience your customer has.

It doesn’t have to be referrals.
Thats true! I'll use all the ideas you've listed. Thank you!
 

Practic

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 29, 2022
286
141
Thats true! I'll use all the ideas you've listed. Thank you!
There is a big difference between referrals and other channels (tictok, youtube, etc.). In other channels you need to work (produce content and publish it, so you are actively involved) with referrals you do not need to work and are not involved actively. You only share with referrals income generated by them, so it is mostly passive income.
 

Looking4CENTS

New Contributor
Jan 23, 2023
6
5
Canada
There is a big difference between referrals and other channels (tictok, youtube, etc.). In other channels you need to work (produce content and publish it, so you are actively involved) with referrals you do not need to work and are not involved actively. You only share with referrals income generated by them, so it is mostly passive income.
Yep - thats why we love them and they are rocket fuel.
 
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