Happy customers are even better at selling your product than you are, so make sure your customers are satisfied with what they have paid for and encourage them to tell other people. Referrals are a great way of prospecting and should be part of your sales process.
Start by making sure your internal team is following up your customer’s order. If there is going to be a problem it’s better if you contact the customer early and tell them about it and how you are going to resolve the issue. Your customer might think even more highly of you if you have fixed a problem than if it just goes through smoothly.
Then follow up. Timing is important here; too soon and they won’t have time to fully appreciate what they have paid for, too late and they may have lost interest. The best thing is to ask them face-to-face; it’s harder to ignore a personal request than an email or a call. But at least if you email them you can send an outline of what you want them to say or write about you.
When your customer is happy, ask them for contacts you can approach. Best of all is if they call the contact first to introduce you, but if you can say “I’ve just worked with Sue and she was pleased with what we did and suggested I call you” that will work nearly as well.
And don’t forget to ask them to review you online. Most customers will have researched you and your company online before any real contact. Depending on your particular business, there will be particular sites you want to be reviewed on. Tell your customer which sites are important to your marketing. Some of them – LinkedIn is a good example – will allow you to review your customer or their business. Write them a good review and they are more likely to write something positive about you.
So do everything you can to make sure your customer is happy, follow up at the right time and always ask for recommendations for lead generation.