Edification (referrals) as a marketing tool

Before we can start to apply the principles of edification, we first need to know what it really means.

Put simply, edification happens when somebody else (say your client or a colleague) and not you tells a new client of the great product or service which they have purchased from you/your business and how satisfied they are with the quality, level of service and expertise they received from you and/or your business. Having someone else singing your praises is always more effective than you trying to blow your own horn, so to speak.

There are numerous forms of edification. You need to choose the mix which will serve your type of business the best. Your client or colleague can promote you/your business in one or more of the following ways:

  • Write a letter to your prospect
  • Send an e-mail to your prospect
  • Shoot a brief video clip and host it on your website – put a link in your e-mail to direct a prospect to the clip
  • Arrange an appointment and introduce you in person to your prospect and then use the opportunity to edify your product/service and expertise

You should also decide where you can best apply an edification. Possible applications include:

  • Your website
  • Company brochures
  • Business Introduction/Overview presentations and documentation

Hint: Make the edification more personal by including a picture of the person who edifies you.

It is very important to remember that you need the consent of the person who edifies you, especially if you use the information on your website, in company brochures and in business overview documentation. The last thing you want is for someone to contact your edifier and they indicate that they never gave you permission to use them as a referral party.

People are inclined to believe other consumers who have a first-hand experience of a product or service. Use your satisfied customers to spread the word and market you and your business.


The content in this article was provided by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market. Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, headquartered in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.

For more information, contact:

Website: https://www.sanlam.co.za/Pages/default.aspx

Tel: 0860 726 526

Contact form: https://www.sanlam.co.za/contact/Pages/default.aspx

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