“Your brand advocates are more valuable than any advertisement you could ever buy.”
A brand advocate is someone who enthusiastically recommends your products or services. Whether they’re employees or clients, these people are kind of like your brand’s own personal cheerleaders. They love and support your brand, and they tell everyone they know how impressed they are with your company.
Author and customer service expert, John Boe, says that when you have a bigger army of advocates, you can often get more referrals while doing less cold calling. Here’s the thing, though — you have to work at getting your clients to become brand advocates. They’re busy running their own businesses, so you have to make it easy for them to advocate for your company.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Boe’s thoughts on the three keys to building an army of advocates for your organization.
1. List your advocates. The first step is to think about the clients who have already referred prospects to you. These people automatically become part of your advocate army, Boe says. The next step is to identify those clients who have bought multiple orders or large single orders but have not yet referred a prospect to you. Boe says you can then let your existing advocates assist you in training your potential advocates. Contact your potential advocates and invite them to a breakfast or lunch along with a couple of your best advocates. He says this low-pressure approach works because you are simply guiding the discussion and letting your advocates share their referral techniques.
2. Educate your advocates. Now that you have a solid list of brand advocates, teach them how to interact with prospects. However, be careful not to let them over educate their referrals, Boe says. He recommends that you coach them to say what it is that you do — not how you do it. It’s best to keep things short and sweet and prepare your advocates for any potential objections. If they receive an objection and they’re not sure how to respond, they will be less effective, Boe says, and they may feel discouraged from future prospecting attempts.
3. Reward your advocates. The people who proudly tout your services and products to others should be thanked accordingly. Send them a promotional product to show your appreciation. You could also simply call them to say thank you or send them a handwritten note. Boe says another idea to reward your advocates is sending them a gift card to a local restaurant.
The more brand advocates you can build, the better. Brand advocates can help you find new audiences, increase your visibility and free up your time to work on other sales tasks. Follow the guidance above to turn more of your satisfied clients into proud brand advocates.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: John Boe is an entrepreneur, author and internationally recognized authority on customer service, body language and temperament styles. The Dale Carnegie organization presented him with its “Highest Award for Achievement.”