Archive | Customer Appreciation

Matrix Section – Post Sale or 1st Connection Nurture

Customer Appreciation – for referrals, introductions and additional business

Wurlwind Social Selling - Customer AppreciationIt’s all too easy to overlook one of the most valuable aspects of LinkedIn, which is also the foundation for successful Social Selling.

Satisfied and delighted customers have already gone through the Know, Like and Trust journey, and made a commitment to you and your business.

A little bit of effort in the post-sale period using LinkedIn to create a public win:win situation will pay huge dividends. 

Whether your prime role is sales leader or business owner, there are several ways you can use LinkedIn to support your customer service and set up subsequent sales.

LinkedIn and Social Selling is not just about prospecting and lead generation. For key account sales it’s a valuable place to develop a positive customer community.

Quick start tips

Pick one of your recently completed sales and follow the steps above to show your appreciation within LinkedIn.

  • Connect with your main customer contacts, if you haven’t already done so.
  • Endorse them, comment on one of their Recent Articles, and send them a ‘Thank-you’ message through LinkedIn.
  • Ask them if they’d give you a Recommendation or Testimonial, and offer to draft something as a starter.

Now repeat for a second customer, then a third, and fourth. And read on for more suggestions on how to build customer loyalty.

LinkedIn Tips for Customer Appreciation to gain referrals, introductions and additional business

1. Create a post-sales routine

Include LinkedIn as one of your post-sales activities, probably once delivery and order fulfilment has been undertaken.

  • Connect with ALL the people who you had contact with during the sales process
  • Invite them to connect with key colleagues as part of the hand-over to implementation or support
  • Invite them to Follow your LinkedIn Company Page, and Follow theirs in return

This at least makes the connections, so you can see updates on a reciprocal basis.

2. Show appreciation

This is where a bit of “Give to Gain” comes in. If you are generous to start with your customers are more likely to reciprocate.

  • Give endorsements to a few key customer contacts (say 3 skills for 3 people), and even give them a recommendation.
  • Find one or more content pieces of theirs to share on LinkedIn – whether it’s an Update by an individual, Article, Company Page update etc.
  • Look through your network of contacts on LinkedIn and pick 3 people who you could introduce your new customer to.

This should cement the relationship and lay the foundations for a successful repeat business and referrals

3. Sow the seeds for future business

And now be suitably pro-active in looking for and requesting support from people in your customer to help you achieve your next sale.

  • Find a suitable way to ask for referrals eg. “If you know anyone who….”
  • Identify and ask for introductions, by looking through their connections, or ask by company name or division
  • Monitor the implementation project for learning points and results to feed into your content marketing plan, so everyone is seen as a winner via LinkedIn

Depending on the nature of your business these might be a one-off activity per client, or something that you diarise or build into the account plan.

If you can make your clients more successful, as individuals, as departments, and as businesses, your future business is far more secure.

This will take thought and effort initially but I’m sure you’ll get quicker as you do this more frequently and regularly, and build it into a positive Social Selling habit.

Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.

Customer Appreciation pays dividends

Wurlwind Social Selling - Customer Appreciation

Quick Tips:

1. There are many ways to show appreciation in public to customers through LinkedIn. Liking, commenting and sharing their content is one way, giving them endorsements and testimonials is another.  and other Social Media. Introducing them to other people pro-actively is a third.

2. Connecting with your Customer and /or Clients on LinkedIn should be a high priority.  Make it a priority to connect with all your current and historical customers, as well as colleagues and ex-colleagues, business partners and others you know offline.

Explanation:

1. Customers are a source of renewals and repeat business, case studies and reference calls, referrals and introductions. Showing appreciation, directly to them, and visibly to others, is a fantastic way to staying front-of-mind. Find reasons to thank your customers in many ways so they really know that you appreciate their business, and them as individuals. Visible appreciation through LinkedIn and other Social Media has huge power, as it shows that you are generous, and people are more likely to offer help, or respond positively if you ask.

2. LinkedIn is quite good at prompting and suggesting ‘People you might know’. Being pro-active, by going through your previous address books, your phone, email list, CRM, will build a powerful foundation network from which to grow. If you work in a sales team and with company colleagues you get extra leverage by connecting with them and then their contacts are 2nd level contacts for you. You should only need to do this catch-up once in your career, so why not do it now, rather than later.

Recommended Action:

Schedule time to go through your historical contacts and invite them to Connect on LinkedIn.

Additional Customer Appreciation Resources

To be added

LinkedIn Company Page and Directory – how to make the most of them

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Social Selling – the evolution from List to Community is underway

Is your marketing and sales thinking, approach and strategy moving from List to Community yet? Where is ‘the money’? A few years ago I came across the expression ‘The Money is in the List’. Then it was updated to ‘The money is in your relationship with your List’. The contemporary version is ‘The money is […]

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Recycle through the sales funnel

The traditional sales funnel is viewed as linear and one way.

  • This can lead to a lot of wastage as prospects and leads fall by the way-side if they don’t progress to the next stage.
  • It also misses huge opportunities to tap into the potential to leverage progression to feed back into the sales funnel.

Recent developments mean neither of these apply to the same extent as preciously.

The availability and access to information via the internet means the buyer can pick and choose the information that suits them, so the linear process that the vendor could previously control is becoming quite random. In addition, since the buyer is now more in control they may chose to move forwards and backwards through the buying process, especially if there are several people in the buying team, with different needs and responsibilities.

The good news is that by updating the sales funnel model, marketing and sales processes and by using technology as a supporting tool, there are ways that vendor organisations can redress the balance, and reclaim some of the initiative.  traditional

Sales Funnel recycling

The wastage of leads and opportunities falling by the way-side can be addressed by updating the marketing and sales activities internally. There are many ways that contacts could be recycled through the marketing and sales process that is under some control of the sales organisation, through internal systems, such as email marketing and customer relationship management. For example:

  • a prospect who is contacted by sales for an initial qualification call but is not yet ready to buy can be added back into a marketing campaign to raise their awareness.
  • a lost sale situation can be added back into a low key contact program as there may be a subsequent sales opportunity.
  • a customer who has made an initial purchase can be re-marketed to for upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Social Business recycling

The missed opportunities is really about recognising the potential that Social Media and Social Business provides, as a very powerful means to address the latter and to harness and facilitate the leverage that is increasingly available. For example:

  • experience gained with a customer and their usage of your product or service could be fed into the lead nurture activity, posted of the FAQ, Blog, and highlighted through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and so on.
  • customer testimonials, especially by video, could be added to landing pages, home pages etc to increase the social proof and reduce perceived risk to a new prospect.
  • customers, prospect, contacts and even people who you don’t yet know about could ‘Like’ the content you create and publish on your website, blog etc. and highlight it to people who they know and are connected to.

Recycling strategies for marketing and sales

Identifying potential for recycling within existing marketing, sales and delivery areas and processes and developing strategies and implementing operational or tactical solutions can be extremely beneficial. They have the potential to increase the revenue per customer and their life-time value, to increase conversion at each stage in the marketing and sales process, and to reduce the cost of sale through reduction in marketing and sales spend and through increased productivity, to highlight just some of the potential return on investment areas.

How much recycling do you do at the moment?

You may already be thinking about ideas and areas where you could improve marketig and sales, but how about:

  • how effective is your re-marketing to existing customers?
  • how easy do you make it for them to endorse what you do for and with your current customers?
  • do you review lost business and use it as a learning and improvement trigger and re-marketing opportunity?

For more suggestions to help you turbo-charge your sales funnel, sign up to the tips on the right.