Cash in on your influence
(NC) Have you ever recommended a restaurant to someone, persuaded a friend to conquer their fear of flying, or convinced a buddy to go ahead and get that tattoo? If you have, chances are you're one of 75 per cent of Canadians who consider themselves influential.
According to a new survey from American Express Canada, we are a very influential bunch. Many of us have influenced someone to overcome a fear (27%) or do something they regret (25%). And on the flip side, most of us say that we're likely to be influenced to try a new restaurant, to travel to a new destination or to follow through on financial advice because of a recommendation.
“Nearly one in five Canadians say that social media has made them more influential, which means the power in word-of-mouth is turning to world-of-mouth power,” says Erik Qualman, a well-known influence expert and author of Socialnomics. “As a result, we're seeing a number of great referral programs that put you, the consumer, in the power seat.”
So how can the act of telling a friend about your favourite new coffee shop or credit card perks earn you some serious rewards? As an expert on the power of influence, no one understands the business behind referral programs better than Erik Qualman, so here are his tips to help you turn your recommendations into rewards:
Do your homework. For instance, some taxi companies will credit your account and some telecom companies give you the chance to unlock exclusive deals. If you've had a great experience with a business or product, don't be afraid to ask if they have a referral program and how you can opt in.
Make sure it's a win-win. As many as 64 per cent of people surveyed said that they'd be more willing to recommend a product or service if there is something in it for them and their friend. A good example is the American Express Refer A Friend program. It offers bonus rewards for both of you when you recommend your credit card. This is a great way to rack up rewards for your next vacation.
Be authentic. It's unlikely your friends will want to be referred to every service or product you interact with. Instead, just stick to those you've had truly great experiences with or brands you love and you know your friend will love too.
More information on the Refer A friend program is available online at amex.ca/refer.
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