Growth In Focus

The Sales Management Specialists

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Testimonials lead to Referrals and MORE business!















Your customers* like and appreciate your services more than you think!

How do we know? Because we routinely talk with our client's customers in 'testimonial calls' and the results are usually gratifying and surprising.

However, most of the business and sales people we work with really do not appreciate the true value of the products and services their company provides.

If you think about it, it makes sense. When your customers contact you its usually because something isn't working as promised or they need something. In each case they are thinking about themselves, not you and your business.

We all know that the single best way to win a new customer is to be referred or recommended by an existing customer but what is the best way to get referrals?

There are three broad approaches:
  1. Wait for your customer to refer you
  2. Ask directly for a referral 
  3. Use a testimonial gathering process and be offered referrals
The first approach, known as the HOPE strategy, looks problematic for most businesses. Even if your best customers would happily refer you, they probably won't think to do so and if they do, they probably do not appreciate what a good referral would be for your business.

In the second approach (the ASK strategy) most people will either wait until the customer has expressed satisfaction or they assume benefits have been received and ask directly "it looks like this is working well for you, do you know anyone else that would appreciate our services?". The persuasive principles in play are LIKING (Customer thinks, 'I like you so I'll give you what you ask for') and/or RECIPROCITY - 'You've given me something(good service, for example) and I should give you something in return'. This approach certainly works but most people are not comfortable asking.

The third approach is more subtle, much more effective and is the main focus of this article. This technique uses priming or 'presuasion'** to invoke the more powerful persuasive principle of CONSISTENCY so that a customer will become, as a matter of identity, someone who routinely gives you things including referrals.

It starts with testimonial gathering. Rather than fish for complements yourself, it works better if you use a third party (like us) to ask on your behalf. You introduce us to your best customers, we call them and gently guide them to say nice things about your service. The recorded phone calls are typically 10-15 minutes in duration and we average one testimonial per minute of call.

So, if we call five of your best customers, you will likely receive about fifty testimonials you can use for your website and marketing materials

But it gets better.

Towards the end of the call we ask two questions: 
"Have you ever referred <my client> to others in your network?"  and 
"Would you be willing to refer them?".
Your customer is now thinking about the best referral possibilities just after they have praised your service - this is ideal.

There are several other advantages to this type of testimonial gathering;
  1. Your sales people get to hear the recording of your customers describing the true value of your services. Sales people often have a mistaken opinion about the true value of their market offering and consequently use the wrong language and voice tone in their sales conversations.
  2. Your operations and customer service staff also hear the true value of your services - a motivating and pleasant change from being routinely beaten up!
  3. Your best customers are primed to be even stronger supporters of your business.
  4. Mystery buyers browsing your website will be powerfully persuaded by reference examples in their own language - the language of the buyer.

Does it sound too good too be true? Ask us about this service and we'll refund our fee if you are not delighted with the results.
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*In this article we use the word 'customer' to denote either 'customer' or 'client'
**Presuasion - a term coined by the psychologist Robert Cialdini and the title of his latest book.

Photo credit: http://therealestatetrainer.com

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Coaching Habit - Seven Questions to Manage Sales People (Book Review)



A few years ago I received a call from one of my sales managers to tell me that our best sales person had just resigned. I was new to the company and the sales person didn't report directly to me, none-the-less this news was like a blow to the stomach. It hurt. I knew that he was leaving because of the company's actions and that losing him was going to impact our overall sales performance.

Sales Leaders do you know what's troubling your sales people right now?

Which ones are motivated? How committed are they to their sales objectives? Will they stay with you? What would help them perform better?

Like to find out ...?

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Lost Art of Cold Calling





















Book Review: The Lost Art of Cold Calling - by  Matt Wanty, 2017

Perhaps no topic in the sales blogo-sphere inspires more religious zeal than the topic of cold calling.

"Cold calling is dead!", "Social media is king!"-  shout the LinkedIn headlines.

Then along comes a short book that quietly and humorously shows that cold calling is far from dead in 2017. In fact it is more effective than ever, as our customers drown in email and social media 'cadences',

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sales Competitions - Do they Work? Really?



When I joined a certain North American company as hemisphere head of sales (don't check my LinkedIn!) they had just announced the President's club winners. The largest deal of the year was made in Anonymesia.

I wanted to understand that deal and interviewed the main players and the customer. There's no doubt that the Anonymesia country manager was the deal architect and main sales person. She was a personal friend of the customer CEO and she made the deal.

So who went to President's club?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Seven Ways to Win Tenders by Thinking like a Military Commander





Imagine how easy selling would be if you knew exactly what was happening with your future customer, if you could read your customer's mind?

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ask! And you shall receive

One of the most important lessons in sales...

Here we look at one of the training videos from our Prospecting Skills coached online training course




[Video Transcript]

This video is about asking for the business.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Magicians, Marines and Medics - Understanding Sales Roles




A long time ago, when working on oil rigs, I was told there are two types of welder; the type that can weld all day on a pipeline and the type that can perform intricate repairs.

“Don’t ever mix ‘em up!” I was admonished.

We’ve been told forever, there are two types of sales people, hunters and farmers. The problem with this classification is there are two types of hunter and you had better not mix them up!