Getting Your Customers To Sell For You: A Step By Step Plan

Getting your customer to brag about your company, and your services, is the best form of advertising that there is. You can tell people how great you are until you’re blue in the face and you might get someone to listen, but get your customers to brag about you and everyone will listen. The trick is to get your customers to do it.

And amazingly enough, I have found that it is often much easier than you think…if you go about it the right way. Most of the time if you have done a good job of developing a relationship with your customers, they’ll be happy to help out. It’s all about how you go about it. How you approach the customers is key to getting them to help you get more business. Most of them are smart enough to realize that a healthy vendor is one that will be around for a while.

Below is my plan for getting customers to brag about you to the point of helping you grow your business.

  1. Choose the right customers for the right services and products you want to promote
    1. QTA
    2. Technology
    3. Helpfulness
    4. Loyalty
    5. Reliability
    6. Credibility
  2. Choose people who are willing and FREE to give you a testimonial
    1. Large companies will not do it, don’t even bother … too many lawyers.
    2. Smaller companies will be  happy to, it’s good publicity for them as well. They can piggy- back off of your advertising.
      1. Design service bureaus
      2. Small assembly companies
      3. Small OEMs
  3. The best times to ask for a testimonial or reference
    1. After you have done something, they are happy about
    2. When you did them a solid favor
    3. An anniversary or milestone of working together
  4. The best time to ask for a success story is once you have successfully completed an important project together.
  5. The best approach is to say we are working on new marketing materials and need their help in “saying something positive about us.”
  6. Be specific. Tell them exactly what you want from them:
    1. Whether it be a testimonial/ success story or reference
    2. How long it should be
    3. And where it will be used
    4. Be clear that you will use their name, title and company

This is a must, an anonymous testimonial is worthless!

  1. Sometimes they will ask you to write it for them!
    1. Yes, this is the best, do it and do it fast
    2. If they like what you write, they will sign it
    3. If they don’t, they will adjust it.
  2. References: are the easiest to ask for because all the customer has to do is be willing to answer the phone and talk about you and your company. The things here is to make sure that you are in solid with your customer, because once she gets on the phone with a potential customer you have no idea what she will say. Even with good intentions she could say something that might hurt your chances. And believe me potential customers will call, especially the good and careful ones. When it comes to customer references, the more the merrier. Nothing is more impressive that having a long list of customers, their key people with their phone numbers ready to vouch for you when a potential customer calls. And the best thing of all is that just about anyone you ask will be willing to do this. Even those people from very large companies are free to act as a reference for you.
  3. The partner ad
    1. Pay for and publish an ad that highlights the customer and how your product helps her to achieve her company’s goals.
      1. This is the most valuable of all testimonials
      2. And it’s a WIN /WIN because it is actually a free ad for them
      3. But bragging about you!
    2. If another customer complains that you are favoring the customer in the ad, invite them to be in the next ad. The more of these the better.
  4. Make sure you keep everything transparent. Tell them where you are using their name and testimonials. Make sure there are no surprises, and make sure you have full approval of what you are going to post and when you are going to post it. Every single time.

But the most important thing is to make sure you have earned the respect of the customers, that you have done such a great job for them on the past that they are more than happy to help you out in the future. 

In fact, many times customers will be so satisfied with a good supplier that they will be happy to tell people about them. After all it reflects well on them that they have chosen so wisely. 

In the end if you have performed well, and built up great relationships with your customers, they will be willing to help you grow your business, and of course there is nothing better than getting your customers to “sell’ for you. It’s only common sense.

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