How to Get More Referrals blog post image

How to Get More Referrals

How to Get More Referrals blog post image

Want to know how to get more referrals? We talk with Steve Woodruff, the King of Clarity, about what it takes to be referral-ready. Made possible by

It’s #SmallBusinessWeek and we’re talking about how small businesses can prosper. On The BIGG Success Show today, we’re joined by Steve Woodruff – the King of Clarity. He’s here to talk to us about his new book, Clarity Wins: Get Heard. Get Referred*. Here’s a summary of our conversation.

Competition isn’t our biggest concern

We think of competition as companies that have similar offerings as us. Steve says this is one level of competition. But it isn’t our biggest concern.

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Are You Open to Opportunity?

closed minded business

Warning! The stories you are about to hear are true. The names and some details have been omitted to protect the guilty parties!

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 5:10)

Throwing away a new customer
We were on the phone with a business owner who told us about a prospect who had turned down a recent proposal.

He was bringing them a brand new customer. They didn’t have to invest any time, money or other organizational resources.

They turned him down flat.

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The Boy Who Found the Recipe for Success

watermelon | BIGG SuccessBill Rosenberg was nine-years old. He often tagged along to work with his dad, who owned a grocery store in Boston.

One hot summer day, Bill’s dad made the boy responsible for selling watermelons. If the nine-year old didn’t sell them, they would go bad.

Bill set up a stand in front of the store.

And he stood there. And stood there. And stood there.

People weren’t buying!

The young man wasn’t about to give up. His dad was counting on him.

But he realized that he needed to get creative. He thought about it. He looked around. He got an idea. Maybe this would work.

He repositioned his watermelon stand right by the streetcar stop. He barked out, “Bring a watermelon home! Surprise your family!”

More people saw his stand. They were impressed with the boy’s enthusiasm. Before long, all the watermelons were gone. Bill was a BIGG success!

What happened to Bill Rosenberg?

He went on to start Dunkin’ Donuts, a chain that sells over $5 billion of food and coffee through its nearly 9,000 stores.

Creativity is a critical skill in the new economy. Persistence has always been crucial. Put the two ingredients together and you have the recipe for BIGG success.

We all know the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.”

The first solution often seems obvious. However, what do you do when it doesn’t work?

You have to come up with a second solution. That’s harder to do.

You have to get more creative. And you can’t give up.

Source: Time to Make the Donuts by William Rosenberg

 Image in this post from FrenchByte

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Entrepreneurs Can Be Too Skinny

measuring tapeThe weight loss industry generates over $60 billion a year in sales. And, of course, losing weight is one of the most commonly cited New Year’s resolutions.

But for entrepreneurs, being too skinny may cost you money – at least when it comes to your point-of-view.

Who cares about the product?

Take the salesperson we know who became the Sales Manager and then the General Manager of the local branch of a large public company. There’s just one problem – he’s running a creative business but he has no respect for the artists! It’s all about sales for him.

He’s agnostic about the product. He thinks the customers don’t care either. So he doesn’t show any interest, care or concern for the people who create the product. He just expects them to do more and more and more.

Morale is low. He keeps cutting costs because sales are falling. And everyone wonders why. This is a true story. The names have been omitted to protect the guilty!

Who cares about profit?

Let’s not single out sales people – it could be someone from another functional area of the business. It costs you money to keep a skinny point-of-view.

Even if you somehow manage to make a profit, you won’t make as much as you could if you were more broad-minded. And you’ll lose money when times get tough.

Who cares about shareholders? Or customers?

Finance types talk about maximizing shareholder value. Marketers remind us that we need to be customer-centric.

They both get so busy promoting their point-of-view that they fail to see the BIGG picture: They’re both right. And they’re both wrong.

Maximizing shareholder value is a worthy goal. Theoretically, shareholder value is maximized by balancing the interests of the various stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and investors. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In the short run, the share price can rise by short-sighted actions which lead to short-term profits that aren’t sustainable.

Focusing on the customer is also critical. You must find a group of people or businesses looking for a solution to an unsolved problem in order to succeed. However, you have to be able to deliver the solution profitably. Otherwise, the better you are at marketing, the more money you will lose.

Who cares about delivering on promises?

This all leads us to our final point – you have to understand the operational side of your business to succeed as an entrepreneurial leader. Everyone makes promises. Most of the time, Operations has to deliver.

You can promise the world. You can crunch numbers until blood comes out of them. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t deliver upon your promises.

Who cares about the BIGG picture?

As an entrepreneurial leader, you deliver upon your promises by first understanding the BIGG picture. Then you can make sure all of your leaders understand your whole business. And then they can help your employees get on board, too.

When everyone has a broad view of your business, they can weigh in with more substantive ideas. It’s not a skinny view but it is a view that will fatten your wallet!

A new program to bulk up your bottom line

We have a complete e-learning program for Chambers of Commerce to offer their members as part of the dues they’re already paying. In other words, it doesn’t cost Chamber members a single penny.

We have a great group of experts writing articles on all areas of business, all designed to help you make more money and grow your business.

At this time, we’re only offering this program through Chambers in the United States. If you’re a Chamber member, send us an e-mail at

Tell us the name of your Chamber and we’ll help you get access to this e-learning program for small businesses. It will help you bulk up your bottom line!

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Small Businesses Can Sell the Black Friday Way

black_fridayHere we are … it’s Black Friday – the day when, historically, retailers get into the black. So they’re hoping that people shop, shop, shop.




marylynnBlack Friday has almost become a sporting event. I just don’t enjoy shopping that much so it’s not for me. But plenty of people sure do enjoy trying to find that irresistible bargain.



georgeI don’t like standing in line for anything but I especially don’t like doing it to spend money! Crowds are great – at a concert or a ball game!


In honor of Black Friday, we want to talk about merchandising in your business. We’ll discuss four lessons you can learn from retailers about selling your wares.

Price check in Lane 123
If you’re a true retailer – you buy goods at wholesale and resell them – it’s easy to determine your cost.

If you’re a service business, it’s more difficult. But you have to know how much anything you sell costs or you risk charging too little. A lot of small business owners fail for this very reason. 

Attention K-Mart Shoppers. There’s a blue light special on …
K-Mart had scrapped this program. They brought it back earlier this year.

Surprise your good customers with a special deal now and then. We heard about a car dealer who would occasionally pick a customer whose car was getting serviced and give them their service that day for free. It created tremendous goodwill.

It would be a customer who had bought the car from him and did all their service with him. In other words, a customer on whom he made a lot of money. Occasionally giving them free service was just a small rebate.

But it paid dividends to the car dealer as well – he got a lot of word of mouth advertising.

Manager on duty to the front of the store please
The front of the store makes us think about the psychology of buyers. Have you ever noticed how most grocery stores have a fairly similar layout?

Research shows that most people walk into a store and turn to the right. So what do you want to put in the front of the store on the right side?

High margin items, of course!

In a grocery store, you notice the milk and eggs are usually in the back – nowhere near the bread. They want you to walk through the whole store so you see more things you might buy on impulse.

Every business has customers who behave in similar ways. Get to understand how you can naturally show your customers more of your products and services.

Clean up in aisle 5
Just about every business that handles inventory ends up with some slow moving items. You need to clean them out so you can get new inventory in that will turn faster so you make more money.

The mistake some small business owners make is being afraid to discount an item – especially for lower than cost. But the sooner you get an item that isn’t selling off your shelf, the better.

Another version of this is displaying a discounted item with a full-priced item. Think about it …

How many times do you see a skirt that’s on sale displayed with a full-priced top?

You like the combination so you buy it. You may be able to do the same type of thing in your business.

Retailers have become pretty sophisticated at discounting items to draw people to their store. They know the law of averages means these people will buy a lot more than just the sale items. Find the lures to bring in your customers and you’ll be a bigg success!


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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll look at the only three ways to get more done. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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