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How To Power Your Unsolicited Referrals - With Maribeth Kuzmeski

Apr 11, 2021

Tom Bailey, Founder of Succeed Through Speaking, Interviews Maribeth Kuzmeski

Dr. Maribeth Kuzmeski and her firm Red Zone Marketing consult on business growth strategies. She’s written 7 books, teaches at Oklahoma State University, and is a regular media contributor.

Why you've got to check out Maribeth's episode:

- Learn how Maribeth helps businesses in the financial industry and entrepreneurial minded companies that are looking for fast growth

- Discover how these businesses typically focus on looking for magical marketing strategies, but should instead focus on referral based marketing

- Why businesses struggle to find the right marketing strategy and who they should ship their focus from trying to find new strategies to instead focusing on what they are great at which is serving their clients

- Learn the importance of creating an experience for your clients when you are in a service based business so that you can make the intangible, more tangible.

- Discover how to get free access to a guide which will show you how to power up your unsolicited referrals.

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to the Flow And Grow Expert Interviews. The place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business

Hello,  I'm Tom Bailey, and in this episode, I'm joined by Marieth Kuzmeski, who's a business growth strategist and a multi book author. So Maribeth hello, and a very warm welcome to today's session.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Well, thank you very much. I'm happy to be here.

Tom Bailey: Excellent. And whereabouts are you in the world right now?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: In the Chicago area. So, Chicago, Illinois we're getting into spring, so it's pretty nice.

Tom Bailey: Beautiful. And before we do get into the questions today, let me just first share a little bit of your background. So Maribeth is the founder of Red Zone Marketing and both her and her firm consult on business growth strategies. She's written seven books and teaches at Oklahoma State University and is a regular media contributor.

The title for today's episode is How To Power Your Unsolicited Referrals, and Maribeth is going to show us how to do that in just seven minutes. So, question number one is who are your ideal clients?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: So, the ideal clients for my firm, Red Zone Marketing are typically finance people in the financial industry, businesses in the financial industry, financial advisors, teams and also entrepreneurial minded companies.

So those that actually really want to grow.

Tom Bailey: Got it. And, and these companies that really want to grow, they want to get themselves to the next stage. What are the typical challenges that they face?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: You know, looking for the most efficient and effective way to grow their business. So, they're looking for these magic marketing strategies, right.

And the problem is, is that they don't necessarily exist immediately in front of you, but we like to focus on word of mouth, and referral growth for a lot of the businesses we were working on because the businesses are very trust-based

Tom Bailey: And we talked about, and it's almost like the shiny object syndrome who was looking for that next best marketing strategy.

And when we're doing this as business owners, what impact does that typically have on the growth or opportunities that our business can generate?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Yeah. I mean, I think that. Businesses find the businesses that we work with, find themselves struggling to find the right marketing strategy and spending more time in marketing and sales activities than doing what their unique strengths are, which is to serve their clients.

For instance, in financial services, with, you know, investments and financial planning and things like that. But they spend too much time on marketing trying to find that strategy that's going to work. And that's where we come in.

Tom Bailey: Got it. Thank you. And, and what is one valuable piece of advice that you would give to somebody to help them stop looking and just really focus on that one strategy?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Yeah, I think it is about, especially when you were talking about referrals and word of mouth, it's about creating an experience for your clients. So, a lot of the firms we've worked with are intangible services based businesses. You can't touch the product. But you can see the service and you can feel the service and you can talk about the person, the people that are delivering the service and the caring and all of those kinds of things in the process.

We've got to make the intangible tangible, and we do that through creating an experience for clients.

Tom Bailey: Okay. Thank you. Sounds great. And, and just on that note, what is one valuable free resource that you can share with people to really help them put that in place in their business?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Yeah. So, we have a guide that is brand new.

This is the first time I'm even talking about it called Powering Your Unsolicited Referrals, because that's what we want. Right. We don't want to have to ask for referrals. We want to just get them like magic. And so, we've got five ideas in this guide and the guide will be [email protected]/ blog.

If it's not available yet, depending on when this podcast comes out, just email us at info at red zone, and we will send it right off to you. It's free.

Tom Bailey:  Amazing. Thank you so much. And that's red zone, I'll put that link into the notes below this episode to people can just click on that and dive right in.

Okay. So, I'm just going to go slightly off topic a second here. And I wanted to ask you Maribeth, what is your greatest failure that you've ever made? And what did you learn from it?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Yeah. I mean, you know, we all love talking about our failures right not, really, but my greatest failure I think was when I first started in business, I realized that public speaking or speaking professional would be something that would work, but I never got any guidance on it.

I just went off and thought, you know what? The people want to hear this. And so, I'll do this. And not until I hired a speaking coach, his name is Lou Heckler, by the way, not until I hired a speaking coach, to help me really sort through what are the challenges, the audience, what are the solutions that we provide in, in presenting that in a way that's super dynamic. It changed my business, my business life for the most part, but I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning because I didn't hire that coach. And I thought I knew what I was doing and I didn't, and I wasn't very good.

Tom Bailey: Thank you for sharing. And I guess that's like with any skill, it's not just speaking if you've got the right coach or the right mentor, and that can really speed up the process of getting to the result that you want.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: For marketing, especially, I mean, that's what we do. We help people make sure they're on the right track. They can do it yourself.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. But you just speed up the process and, and point them in the right direction and hold their hand obviously to take them along that path. Great. And the last question for me is what is the one question that I should have asked you that will add great value to this audience today?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Well, I, you know, we believe in branding at Red Zone Marketing, but the question is, why did you name your company Red Zone Marketing? That sounds like an American football term. Right? And it is, and the reason I did is because I was raised in part by a grandmother who loved her first born grandchild, which was me, and also loved the Green Bay Packers, which is a football team. And so, I grew up just wanting to do what she wanted me to do. And I became a huge football fan, loved my grandmother and wanted to do whatever she wanted me to do. So, when I named my company, I named it Red Zone Marketing in the spirit of my grandmother.

And by the way, people don't want to necessarily send out direct mail and hope they get response in a couple of years. They want results right now. And that's what the red zone is all about.

Tom Bailey: Perfect. Thank you. And I guess that's all about authentic human brand and it's got a real story behind it. I love it.

Great. Okay. So, Maribeth thank you so much again for your time today. There's a ton of value in such a short episode but I really appreciate you joining and thank you again for sharing your expertise with us.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Well, thank you for having me.