Looking for some marketing ideas to kickstart new efforts? Here are three quick tips:

Referral Marketing: Learn the Law of Reciprocity

Wikipedia defines this as "…responding to a positive action with another positive action." If someone does something nice (positive) for us, we feel a sense of obligation to return that favor.

This goes beyond providing a good product or service. You're supposed to do that. This is going above and beyond what's expected of you. Remembering a client's birthday, or even better, his or her children's birthdays. Knowing your client has a special hobby and sending an article or book you discovered. Acknowledging a promotion with a handwritten note or gift.

The important thing here is your efforts must be sincere and personal. Selfish, insincere motives are easy to see through and will only boomerang. Think about what you can do for your individual clients that goes outside your normal business relationship. The fact is people do business with people. People do not do business with companies.

Look at What Everyone Else is Doing & Don't Do It

A very high percentage of businesses tend to follow a common strategic orthodoxy in their markets? All too often we promote our businesses using the same benefits (Quality! Service! Price!) as every one else. Too often we use the exact same marketing tools as everyone else! ("Say, did you see that postcard the National Widget Company sent out last week? We should do one, too!")

If your competition is using postcards, you send balloons. If your competition is blasting emails, you send faxes. When everyone else is zigging, you zag.

Call Your Customers and Ask How They're Doing

Then shut up and listen. Let me repeat that. Shut up and Listen. Don't talk about your product or service. This is NOT a sales call. This is for them to talk. This is for you to learn something new about their business…to show that you care…to learn about their challenges, opportunities, & problems without being led by pre-designed questions.

If you bring up ANYTHING about your own business in the call, they will know it's a sales call and they will know you are trying to manipulate them.

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