#1 Posted: 15 Apr 2012 18:47
Do your happy customers send more business your way? A successful sales technique is to ask satisfied customers for referrals, but an even better scenario is when the customers recommend your company to others without you even having to ask.
Imagine it ... your phones ringing constantly with new business as the list of happy customers or clients grows and they spread the word to others. What business owner wouldn't love that?
One of my clients recently held a sales rally to celebrate their success and promote a new theme that is based on Fredrick Reichheld's book, "The Ultimate Question." I reread the book in preparation for the event and highly recommend it. If you are a business owner who hasn't read it, stop and order it now. I'll wait ... are you back? Good.
The ultimate question asks you to rate yourself, on a scale of one to ten, how likely are your customers to recommend you to their friends and colleagues? Putting other factors aside, that one single question can let you know if you are doing a great job based on your customers' satisfaction.
A high score of nine or ten is the goal, and it indicates satisfied customers that translate into advocates, meaning they refer you without asking. In seeking feedback from customers, ask the ultimate question and see how they rate you. If it is less than a nine or ten, ask what strategies you could implement to reach that highest level.
You should also ask yourself two questions during your interaction with a client.
1. "Is what I'm doing right now going to make that customer come back to me the next time they need what it is that I sell?" It may seem overwhelming to try to foster lifetime loyalty, so just put your focus on the next time. And then do it over and over, and you will have built a lifetime of "next times."
2. "Is what I'm doing, or about to do, going to make the customer feel good enough to recommend me to a friend or colleague?" Actually, if you can answer "yes" to this question, a positive answer is assured for the first question also. If they would refer their friends and colleagues to you, they are obviously pleased with your service and would return as well.
The "ultimate question" is the next step beyond customer loyalty. Adding advocacy to the mix is a good indicator of continued success!