During my time as a salesman I learned A LOT about the 5-step selling process. It was preached, and preached, and just when I thought it was over – preached again. It was preached because it was effective, especially if you took the time to put your own spin on it and convert it from a generic script to an actual human interaction.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
The final step in the 5-step process is to ask for reviews/referrals and it is equally as important as making your customer happy. We live in a world controlled by the internet. Even if a consumer plans on purchasing something in a store or it is a service the first place they go to research is the internet. Having reviews shows that you are an established company, and that you are knowledgeable in your field. It brings a sense of confidence to your potential customer and can help encourage them to use your product or service. According to a survey done by BrightLocal 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a business and 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. Just in case you need another statistic to convince you: 72% of consumers stated that a positive review would make them trust the business more.
Reviews are invaluable. They are an extension of your marketing that can really break down the barriers that many consumers have built around advertisements. Getting the reviews can be difficult though especially the positive ones. Generally people that are upset are more likely to leave a review than people that are satisfied with a service. That’s where your responsibility comes in. You should make it common practice as your finish with a satisfied customer to ask them to take a few minutes to leave a review. Don’t be scared to ask – they can simply say no. Beyond that, leaving a review rarely takes a long time and the added benefit can be worth a lot.
Making a bad review good
Even bad reviews leave some positivity to be had. Typically in a bad review a customer expresses their displeasure with a product or experience. Resist the urge to fight back – at least in the beginning. Focus on finding the root of their issue and going through the steps necessary to correct it. Make sure that you show empathy and concern. Correcting the situations that lead to a bad review can be more beneficial than most people think.
There are two main benefits from addressing (publicly I should add) a negative review and correcting it. When you address the review potential clients and customers can see that even though someone may not have had the best experience you are going to make it right. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes things beyond our control can cause our customers to have a negative experience. But, by showing customers that they are more than just a dollar sign you can build a relationship and trust. Secondly, many dis satisfied customers will change their review once the problem has been corrected. Keeping a large amount of positive reviews vs. a low amount of negative reviews will continue to help build the trust between you and your customers.
Start building your reviews
Whenever I talk to people about reviews I usually hear something along the lines of “how do I just ask and how do I keep up with it”. Both asking and keeping up with it must be melded into your marketing/sales strategy. It needs to flow with your normal business operations and become something that is part of your day to day routine. While it may not seem like it adds a benefit it is a part of grassroots marketing that can help your visibility when competing with the bigger faceless corporations.
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