The Only Way To Win Is To Be Positively Talked About

By Patrick McFadden

I’ve been doing a lot thinking about, “what really grows businesses?” How do they break through the noise, the clutter, and experience success?

Eventually it came to me. The asset that every successful for profit and not-for-profit has is: a referable experience. An experience worth talking about.  They create an experience with using their product or service that makes someone want to recommend or refer it.

Despite all the marketing hype, the truth is successful thriving businesses are still built on the basic principle of people talking to people. Whether this is though technology or a real physical conversation people love to talk about their experiences.


Today, paying for attention just isn’t as effective as it used to be. There’s more media to consume (for free) than ever before. More events, more messages, and more ads. Think about it? In a world of where the 30-second commercial whether on TV, radio or at a networking event is often requested, how many commercials have you remembered? Why don’t you remember them? More importantly, why do you remember the few that you do?

You remember the few that you do because you experienced a “referable experience.” An experience that’s worth referring.

The best way to attract attention to your service or business is to be worth referring because you can’t advertise your way, you can’t spam your way, and you can’t call your way to into someone’s presence. You get there because people talk about and refer you.

A referable experience attracts attention to your service or business. Here are some things that you can include that make an experience worth referring:

  • Referable experiences announce new information that people spread
  • Referable experiences exceed all expectations
  • Referable experiences should be surprising.
  • Referable experiences can be emotional or exclamatory.
  • Referable experiences promise a benefit or solution.

Here are some referable experience techniques for you and your staff when in one-to-one interactions:

  • Be the most upbeat, generous, enthusiastic, and full of energy person (works for me)
  • When presenting your “30-second commercial”, be sincere and caring
  • Look people right in the eye when speaking
  • Make the referable experience the most positive ever
  • Make people laugh until their eyes cry.
  • Offer something of value for free.
  • State early in a conversation what problems you solve.

Referable experiences are also something you do differently in your business. Think about a florist that gives each grandmother that visits the store a rose or the bank that gives biscuits to dogs. At the end of the day it must be an experience worth referring.

Question: Are you going to make referable experiences part of your business?

About the author:  Patrick McFadden is Cause and Effective’s Marketing Advisor and is the author of the  Indispensable Marketing Blog. You can also follow him on Twitter.

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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