Do you read online reviews? Of course you do. Most people check out customer feedback before committing to buy a product or service these days. There is an entire industry dedicated to reputation management. The question is: what are you doing to manage your own reputation as a sales professional? Here is one simple method that can help you.
I have sat with hundreds of salespeople who tell me stories about what their customers have told them in various conversations. Things like how valuable their ideas were, how much they appreciate their outstanding service, how much they understand about their business, how valuable they are as a partner—the list goes on. The tragedy is that most often, those comments are never seen or heard by anyone else. Too bad. If only prospects who don’t know you very well knew what it was like to work with you, they might be quicker to accept an appointment.
Gather Customer Comments the Easy Way
There are myriad ways to help prospects learn more about how you do business: a Personal Marketing Resume, a strong, customer-focused LinkedIn profile, a letter of introduction, certainly a referral. But each one of those tools needs to be powered by what your customers say about you. We all know it’s tough to get customers to write letters of recommendation, or to even write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn (but you should ask). A simple way to make sure a customer’s comments get shared is to capture them when they are spoken. It’s easy, especially with the technology in your smartphone. When a customer makes a positive comment about something you did or tells you that he or she appreciates the way you do business, do two things:
- Ask if the person would mind if you shared that comment with prospects who don’t know yet how you do business (with attribution): “Do you mind if I quote you on that?” Almost everyone will say, “Not at all.”
- Get out a note pad (or the one on your phone) and write down what you heard. Show it to the customer and ask him or her if you captured the essence of the comment. Customers will probably help you edit on the spot. This is MUCH easier for them than trying to write something from scratch later. If you want to get fancy, ask them to repeat the comment as you record a video on your phone or record the audio to a voice memo. Now you’ve captured the valuable comment before it disappeared into thin air. Simple.
What to Do With Customer Comments
So, what do you do with comments? Build them in that Personal Marketing Resume we talked about, insert them into emails you send to prospects, and make a few part of your LinkedIn profile. If you have an audio or video file, attach it to an email. You’ll find many means and places to share these comments with people you are trying to engage.
Remember, when you say good things about yourself, you sound like every other salesperson out there. But when your customers say good things about you, it helps prospects feel more comfortable that spending time with you might be a good investment. Don’t let those compliments vanish into thin air!