Have you ever received a comment from a happy customer that went something like this: “Let me know if I can ever do anything to help you grow your business.”
My experience is that most businesses have at least a few of those evangelist type customers just looking for ways to sing their praises.
Sure, asking them for a few referrals is a great way to let them help, but I’ve found that there a few things you can do to really give your champion customers a voice and let them shine in the process.
1) Let me introduce you
I discovered the power of this first tactic quite by accident. I was speaking at a small event when an audience member came up and told me they had followed me for years, read my books and were really excited to meet me. Now that’s a happy customer!
The event was small enough that there were no plans to introduce me to the group before I started, so I ask this customer is she would like to introduce me to the group. She was happy to do it and proceeded to gush about how brilliant I was and basically had the crowd of her peers on my side in a way that no other emcee has ever done. And, she felt pretty special doing it as well.
So, if you hold events, either in person or online, consider getting one of those evangelist customers to introduce you or stand up at some point and tell their story about working with you.
2) Video testimonials
Capturing your best client’s success story on video is a great way to create compelling content and provide 3rd party proof that your business does produce as promised.
You should routinely recruit those customers that want to sing your praises to do so in this manner so you can capture and reuse their story over and over again.
I’ve had clients over the years hold customer appreciation events for just this purpose. They served some wine and snacks and then pointed to a video booth where a film crew would capture their story and, as a bonus, record some nice promotional video that the client could use for their own as well.
3) Peer to peer events
I’ve seen this tactic produce stunning results. The idea is to take a client or two that really want to help and ask them to facilitate a panel discussion on some topic related to their industry (and not necessarily related to your business.)
You invite other hot prospects to participate and then simply host and moderate the discussion among peers. If done as pure education this can be a very powerful way to add value to your current client relationships and demonstrate the way you operate to these hot prospects.
In almost every instance where I been involved in this format the existing clients actually do some selling around the problems and challenges they’ve had solved by the host, but do so in an authentic and non-threatening manner. Everyone wins again!
Creating ready made ways to amplify your customer’s desire to promote is one of the secrets to extending your reach and impact into new customer opportunities.