How to get your customers to join your sales team

Feb 4, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Are you encouraging your customers to be on your sales team? They could be the best sales people you’ll (n)ever recruit!

Paul the-guest-who-blogs

Pictured above: Paul Kelly, the Kilmore Cottage guest-who-blogs, with his family

 

REPEAT BUSINESS

A few weeks back, we stressed the importance of repeat business and how to encourage it in “Repeat Customers are Gold; How do you close the Golden Sales Loop?

Let’s assume you’ve got the whole Golden mix right, you’ve got a great product, you provide a great service, you keep in touch with your customers and you have indeed closed the Golden Sales Loop. You’ve got  repeat customers. Excellent!

Golden Sales Loop

NEW BUSINESS FROM OLD BUSINESS

We cannot thrive or even survive on repeat business alone. When it comes to customers, we say:

“Repeat  is Gold, but New  is necessary.”

Customers value choice and while it is great to achieve repeat custom, it would be folly to depend on it. So, businesses put most of their marketing spend into getting new customers.

The best marketing resource any business has is their existing customer base.

Bring some of your customers onto your sales team as well.

Yes!  Your loyal fans. People who have sampled your product, used your services and know how fabulous you really are(!) With a little care and a lot of respect, you can encourage your happy and enthusiastic customers to help you find more customers. Basically, it involves you asking your customers to do small but strategically powerful things for you. Have you ever helped somebody to find just the right holiday or an obliging plumber in an emergency? It feels good, right? You will be giving your customers a chance to bask in your reflected glory – an extension of your customer care if you will. This may be overstating the case somewhat, but how you look at this process will help you to feel comfortable about generating new business from old business. Truth is, it’s pretty easy to do, and it’s a win | win for your business and your customers.

 

RECRUIT YOUR CUSTOMERS ONTO YOUR SALES TEAM

There are lots of ways to do this. Here are just three of our suggestions.

1. “REAL GUEST” BLOGGER Lots of B2B blogs use guest bloggers to great effect, and the same strategy can work in B2C marketing. A customer who likes your product or service will describe it in a way you can never hope to emulate. Their authenticity shines through, and their perspective has the ultimate validity. When it comes to sales, your customer’s opinion of your product or service is THE single most important thing. So, if you can find a guest-who-blogs, and they have a good story to tell, that is one of the most powerful sales tools you can have. You can augment the effect of a blog with social media. Our sister business, Kilmore Cottage, asked a guest to blog about his family’s holiday with us. Judge for yourself how powerful a message this is for visitors to our site: Guest Blog: Why Ireland was a great holiday choice for this English family
2. ONLINE REVIEWS In the tourism accommodation world, if customers write nice things in your guest book, or in a thank you card, just you and a few existing customers will see it, which is great, but not very profitable. However, if they write an online review, potential customers will see it. Encourage online reviews, by asking for them. If you routinely send guests a “thank you” email after they depart, then include a link or invitation to post an online review as well. Yes, you run the risk of getting a bad review, but bad reviews can lend authenticity to the good reviews. Dealing with reviews is a whole topic in itself, and we mentor businesses and deliver workshops on this very topic. Online reviews are increasingly important for online sales. Reviews give your business credibility. Online PR and Social Media company, Simply Zesty have a great blog article on this topic ”Why negative reviews don’t hurt your brand”
3. REFERRALS This simple strategy works well in B2B marketing, but it is often overlooked. Ask clients for a referral. If you solve a problem or do a good job for a client, they may be happy to refer you to others if you prompt them to do so. Remember, your clients are quite rightly focused on their business and not yours, so a small request may be all that is needed to prompt referral business. You can find more information on Ian Brodie’s blog about  asking for a referral.

 

If you have tips for putting your customers on your sales team, please feel free to a comment in the box below!

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