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My friend John Jantsch invited me (and a bunch of other people you probably know, including David Meerman Scott, Guy Kawasaki, Rohit Bhargava and Chris Brogan, Ivan Misner, Bob Burg, Ben McConnell, Dan Schawbel, Anita Campbell, Lisa Barone, Scott Allen, Scott Ginsberg, Janine Popick, and Pam Slim) to participate in his second annual Make a Referral Week, which is this week (March 8 through 12). What’s Make a Referral Week? The goal is dead-simple: To give 1,000 referrals to 1,000 deserving small businesses across the country.

I love this idea. Here’s how it works: Make at least one referral to whomever you think could use new business, and add your recommendation #marm)

Blog about it on your own blog

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There’s more happening this week to help small businesses learn how to leverage the power of referrals, including daily guest-posts on John’s blog and an online seminar.

MarketingProfs is a sponsor of this event, along with GoTo Webinar, PR Web, Constant Contact, Perkett PR, Palo Alto Software, Duct Tape Marketing Coach, Sage, BNI, Vertical Response, Verizon, alphagraphics, InfusionSoft, The Referral Engine, Gold Star Referral and Intuit. If you are a small business, BTW, you may already know that MarketingProfs has tons of content geared toward small business. But did you know you can browse our archives by that category here and here? (The latter, by the way, is our Small Business-centric newsletter: Get to the Po!nt Small Business. Do you subscribe?)

So how do you encourage more referrals for your business, or inspire customer love?

My take is that there are two fundamental approaches to generating more business: The first is to focus on making your existing customers insanely happy, so that they want to tell others about how much they love you; the second is to simply be a resource -- or be helpful -- to those who aren’t customers yet. That’s a sneak peek of what I write in my post running on John's blog this week, and I offer 17 tactics on how to accomplish that. Watch for it over there .

So how about you? What’s your referral secret? Add it below?

UPDATE: My post is now active; check it out: 17 Terrific Tactics to Inspire Customer Love (And Get New Business)

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image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, mom, dog person, and writer.

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