Marketing Automation Group
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Marketing MVP? Your Client

I talk a lot about value—how to value your time, and create value for your clients and customers. What about asking clients how much they value you?

 

In my business, I work with entrepreneurs to grow their profits. Through sound strategy, direct marketing, and business automation, I help each client grow their business to make the money they want. Sound good?   A big part of that is working with your most valuable resource—your customers.

 

How to make your client your most valuable player

 

Your customer buys your product or your services. They are also your best marketing resource.Client Referrals

Beyond their patronage, consider the essential services your customer can provide to you:

 

Feedback: When you establish a working relationship with a client, ask them for feedback on your services and products. What works? What doesn’t work? Everyone likes to be asked their opinion and no one—not even you—knows your product better than those who are paying for it. Think about these tips:

  • Ask: If customers seem disgruntled, or a service does not sell—take a trusted client to lunch and ask why? In my car repair business, I learned more from watching—and asking—my customers than any other sales method. Small business owners who are afraid to ask for gut-level feedback from their customers are afraid of what they might hear.
  • Listen: Your client holds the key to your success—they know what they want, and they will tell you. They know what does not work for them, and they will tell you. Comments in the form of feedback cards, customer satisfaction surveys, and personal outreach let you know what is, and what is not, working with your business.
  • Learn: No market analysis offers better insight than customer feedback.

Referrals: A referral from a client cuts your sales cycle in half. A huge part of getting new business is gaining the trust of a potential lead. Cold calls take time, finesse, and sure skill to warm a prospect to the point where they are willing to meet you. A client referral opens the door and invites you into the association of a previously existing relationship. Consider these tips:

  • Fear: Asking clients and customers for referrals is a learned skill. Few small business owners are comfortable asking their clients to refer business to them. Remember, when you offer top-notch services and products to clients, it is okay to ask them to be your advocate.
  • How to ask: There are many ways to ask for business referrals. When a sale is complete, or a service provided, ask your client if they would mind referring you to business associates who might need your product.
  • Reach out: Use social media to ask clients to refer you to others, or to join your LinkedIn network. Post links for clients to leave feedback, or enable them to write reviews on your website.
  • Appreciation: Thank all clients who offer referrals. While a personal thank you is nice, a small bonus—gift card, service, or subscription—all go a long way to letting your client know you appreciate their confidence in you.

Turning mistakes into gold: Blunders, foul-ups, and mistakes—they happen to everyone. It is true that a happy customer tells one friend while an unhappy customer tells ten. With the right technique, you can turn that unhappy customer into an ally who tells ten friends how well you handled their situation. Here is how:

  • Awareness: Be sure you have multiple channels for clients to provide feedback to your business. Train staff to recognize and respond to customer concerns. Empower managerial and other staff to rapidly and respectfully step forward to help.
  • Active listening: Listening to customer complaints and concerns is a big part of customer service. Whether you personally handle the complaint, or it is managed by your staff, ensure the disgruntled customer is given fair time to explain their beef with your business. Willingness to spend time with an unhappy customer gives nonverbal feedback that their problem is important to you.
  • Comprehensive response: Real skill is needed to assess and respond to a customer complaint. A “make it right” attitude must be echoed by your actions. Whether it is deeply discounting or waiving the bill, personally walking the customer through a process to ensure they are satisfied, or asking them straight out what they feel is fair—sensitively and thoroughly responding to an angry customer with a legitimate complaint makes a friend out of a potential foe.
  • Social media: Monitor your social media channels to respond to Twitter, or Facebook comments about poor service. Be clear that you care and will work with your customer—you will earn new business from it.

 

These are only a few of the ways your own customers can shorten your sales cycle and keep your business successful. They work in my business, and I know they will work in yours.

 

When you want to know about client satisfaction and building value that pays off for you, call me at 585-633-7563.

To your success.

Bob Britton

About the Author Bob Britton

Bob Britton is an accomplished entrepreneur with ​25 year’s experience ​starting, building and growing both brick-and-mortar companies as well as online businesses. ​He's personally built 3 companies from one man shows to the million dollar mark. Marketing Automation Group and the Automated Entrepreneur Method​® are his latest brainchild. After working with hundreds of business owners in every walk of business, he realized there was a HUGE gap in the support and training that was available, and set out to fill that void with his no-nonsense, hype free approach to business growth.

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