Happy, educated, results oriented customers are the greatest sales force you can employ.
You’ve probably experienced that in some manner by way of a referred lead or two. What I would like to suggest is a systematic way to willingly involve your customers as motivated participants in the growth of your business.
Here are the primary steps involved to raise the level of customer participation.
1) Educate – take the time to do two things with every customer. Teach them exactly who makes a great lead for your business and how to correctly introduce your business to a prospect. Give them the tools to do this whenever the occasion arises. 1a) Get passionate about measuring, reviewing and reporting the results you have created on behalf of your customers. Set up routine meeting to go over these.
2) Testimonials and Case Studies – For every happy customer their should be a testimonial of results and perhaps even a full blown written, audio and/or video example in the form of a simple case study. Involve your customers in this process and use their testimony in various formats.
3) Peer-2-Peer Education – This is pretty involved way to get your customers on the sales team, but done correctly, it is very powerful. Invite several happy customers to participate in a panel discussion on some issue in their business or industry and include four or five prospects as well. The discussion should revolve completely around solving issues and discussion challenges with peers – the key is that your products and services can be positioned (without any selling on your part) as the solution by your happy customers. This can even be done in person or via webinar.
4) Create a Customer Community – Once a quarter or once a year invite some or all of your customers to enjoy a great speaker, lunch, drinks or to paint the day care center at the local community center. There is something magical about this type of community building and it always produces loyalty and referrals as a side benefit.
Employing several of the steps above can help build momentum and force your business to get much more customer focused, which is never a bad thing.
So, what have you done to involve your customers?