As a CEO, sales manager, or salesperson, creating raving fans is an ambition worth striving for.
There’s a huge difference between someone who buys on a transactional basis—and someone who buys because they’re loyal to your company, brand, or someone specific within your organization. We call the former a “customer,” and the latter a “client.”
Clients are raving fans. Clients are consciously choosing to buy from you again and again.
Let’s explore how to create raving fans.
Raving Fans: How to Take Selling Beyond the Sale
Ready to create raving fans of your business? Here are some areas to focus your energy.
1. Build Strong Relationships
The key to creating raving fans begins with relationships. Strong relationships. Solid, workable relationships.
A customer might buy from you because they need what you have to offer. But a client, a raving fan, buys from you because you have an established relationship. They like you, they trust you, and they know that you’ll take care of them.
Keys to building strong relationships:
- Focus on building a relationship from the very beginning—starting at the prospecting stage. If you focus on the sale from the get-go, you might get a customer. But you’ll have a tougher time gaining a life-long client. Take time to get to know your prospects and what matters to them. Ask about their family. Learn what hobbies they’re invested in. Ask questions, and take notes! Add these notes to their contact within your CRM, and keep building. Invest in your prospects, customers, and clients.
- Recognize that relationship building doesn’t end once someone begins to buy from you. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Continue to nurture your relationships. Charles Bernard, our CEO here at CFS, wrote a fantastic eBook on just this very topic. It’s called Making Client Relationships Work. Click here to download a free copy.
2. Be a Resource
If you want to create raving fans, you’ve got to go above and beyond. The best way to do this is to be a resource for your prospects, customers, and clients.
What does this mean?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple. It means that you exist to help. That you’re a problem solver. It means helping your clients is more important than making a deal.
I had an awesome interview session with Glen Boehmer, CEO of Sentinel Innovation, a few weeks back. (Be sure to check out the interview on our podcast series, Let’s Talk Sales!, on Apple Podcasts. The episode will be live on December 18th). And we talked about this very point. Glen noted that as a CEO, it’s important to remember that the human being comes before the sale, always. And that oftentimes, he’s passed on working with a potential customer because he knew it was not in the best interest of the customer.
As leaders, this is a critical point. Remember, we’re selling to human beings. We wouldn’t want to be sold something that doesn’t suit us. So why would we do this to another person?
Put your client first. Be a resource to them. Know what they need, and what they don’t. Then provide what they need—even if it means referring them to someone else.
Keys to being a resource:
- Always put the prospect/customer/clients’ needs first.
- Share valuable information that will help them thrive in life and business. Some examples would be: articles/blogs, eBooks, infographics, or videos that solve their unique problems.
- Proactively reach out to see what’s new. Life changes fast, and so do your client’s problems!
- Don’t be afraid to say your company is not a fit, if it’s not a fit. Do right by the prospect/customer/client by referring them to someone that’s a better fit.
Raving Fans Equal a Brighter Future
“Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” (HBR.org)
So, save yourself time, energy, and money—create raving fans and keep them for life!