There are a number of ways to make the most of your Portland Buy Local membership. PBL member Mary Marsh joins us as a guest blogger to share how she’s used her membership to connect with the community.

Marsh Agency Insurance has been a Portland Buy Local member for almost 8 years, and during that time we’ve discovered some valuable ways to interact with the local community.  As all business owners know, referrals are a primary source of new customers.  We have many customers who refer their relatives, friends and co-workers to our agency. As a service provider, we aren’t able to offer sales or discounts to our customers, as retailers do. To thank those customers who have recommended our services we have developed a referral program to express our gratitude.

When someone refers a new customer, we send them a $20 gift certificate to a Portland Buy Local business of their choice.  This has been a very successful program for us. It allows us to visit the business to purchase the gift certificate and introduce ourselves. It’s been a great way to connect with the community, and then our customers go to the business to redeem their gift certificate and usually end up spending more than $20 – so it’s a win-win for everyone!

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