The value proposition is a whole lot more powerful when customers start evangelizing it.
Today, on average, 57% of a purchase decision is complete before a customer contacts a supplier. McKinsey labeled this shift in buying behavior the Customer Decision Journey. When customer buying behavior evolves, the sales organization has to respond. The opportunity exits around influencing the decision cycle early, before the customer engages a supplier. Smart companies are inviting their best customers to help.
Can you easily identify the customers that are helping make sales for you?
Companies that deliver compelling customer experiences before, during and after a sale can pull customers into a “loyalty loop,” winning their repeat business. Loyal customers are increasingly more inclined to share their experiences. Good sales organizations invite them to do exactly that. That’s social selling.
Reputation and word of mouth win business.
Most of my business comes from referrals. I continually benefit from customers inside my loyalty loop that literally go out of their way to help me grow my business. A referral is the best indication of a “high value – high trust relationship” and the most important gift in sales. Make sure and treat them that way.
I teach salespeople the value of having customers sell for you (Flip the Sale). That happens when you:
1. Give Value First. Deliver the WOW experience, consistently. Exceed expectations. Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Word travels fast.
2. Be Helpful. Find ways outside the scope of work to help customers. Participate actively in referring business yourself. What comes around goes around.
3. Ask For Referrals. Ask for referrals only after you’ve earned them through the quality of your work product. You’ll be surprised how willing loyal customers are to lend a hand. People want to help people they like, believe, trust and value. Your best customers want you to succeed!
4. Go Social. Make it easy for customers to refer, recommend and evangelize your work.
Customer satisfaction isn’t good enough. Loyalty is the benchmark that counts. Two questions worth considering:
Did the customer hire you again? Did the customer recommend you to someone else? Those customers are inside the loyalty loop.
Ryan Estis & Associates is a training and development organization helping companies, leaders, sales people and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance in the new economy. We offer keynotes, live classroom training and online learning that blends interaction, energy and actionable content designed to elevate performance. Contact us for programming inquiries and assistance determining the curriculum that could best support your learning and development objectives.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.