Do your clients recognize excellence? Do you?
If you could script out your client’s response to this question, what would you want your client to say: “What do you appreciate most about our company, and why?”
What excellence would your client identify?
THAT excellence is your “Tell me more…” and that’s what you should work towards, if you want referrals that magnetize more and more customers.
What is your “Tell me more…”?
Is it financial insight? Attention to detail? Resourcefulness? And what about your products – SPECIFICALLY – would be most supportive? Find your excellence, by what others say about YOU!
People want to be heard. They deserve to be heard, and excellence deserves to be recognized.
Make it easy for your customers to share their experiences. A direct request for a referral is one way; be specific and clear on the exact situation and circumstance. That kind of prompt is the key to a clear and powerful response.
Other ways to encourage great referrals:
- Be the change you want to see. What vendor or supplier deserves a solid recommendation? Write one. Unprompted. If someone is awesome, don’t keep that to yourself. Others deserve to know. And, if you tell others about an awesome product or service, you help your network to take advantage of an unexpectedly fantastic experience. Everyone wants a fantastic experience! Don’t keep yours to yourself! You will help your network, and you will help your supplier’s business. You are promoting excellence, and polishing the world with your recommendation. So…why not? Write that recommendation right now!
- Ask your customer to go on camera – even if it’s the camera on your smart phone – and answer a couple of questions. Again, SPECIFICS are the key here. “What made you think that Sarah was a great account rep?” “How did the software solution impact your accounts receivable on day one?” “What was it about the building that made you relocate to Denver?” … the examples are endless. Contact me if you need some more examples, tailored to your products or services.
- Create a contest, video or otherwise, to explain a key concept of your products or services. You don’t have to give away cash or prizes: recognition can be its own reward. Does your company feature a “Customer of the Month”? Well, why not?
- Celebrate your employees. Get them on camera to describe what they like best about your organization, or your team. Extra credit? Get them to talk about what they like best about a particular customer.
- Celebrate your customers. Get them on camera to describe what they like best about your organization, or your team. Extra credit? Get them to talk about what they like best about a particular employee, product or solution. And, if you’re worried that you might alert the competition to your customers, you’re absolutely right! Your competition will know that your customers are positively delighted! The recognition you provide your customers is further evidence of your great relationship. Published referrals are a source of competitive advantage, in addition to propelling your advertising and marketing to others.
- No camera required: Why not ask your customers to put their comments on your blog, your website, or other online area? Provide a forum for feedback and comments – both good and bad – and make sure you’re listening. Capture those comments, and publicize via twitter, facebook, linkedin, or other sites that support your brand message.
I’m always surprised by the answers I receive, once I have the guts to ask the question.
For your marketing, give yourself permission (and your customers the opportunity) to celebrate excellence.