Top professionals in nearly every field of selling understand the value of a good client. Each client’s business not only adds to your personal bottom line, but it can lead to even more business through referrals. However, the best salespeople have learned how to get more business because of an existing client even from a non-referred lead. How do they do this? By getting permission to use the client’s name.
There are several ways of using a client’s name. You can simply name-drop to a prospective new client. “Over 85 of your new neighbors in this development have come to us for their mortgages.” Or, “Is so-and-so with the same last name related to you? I was just curious because he’s used our services as well.”
Be aware, you can only drop names of actual clients. It’s wise to get names that are authorized for use from higher ups in your company. They will have received permission and will know that this person or company is happy with your service. Remember the privacy issues related to many industries and only use this strategy with proper permission from the client…and only mention the name, nothing about the product or money amounts.
Many sales representatives use our “Higher Authority Close” and have their prominent person actually talk with a prospective client for you. To do this, you would need to have a satisfied client agree to take or make a call on your behalf. If they’re taking a call during a meeting you have scheduled with a potential new client, be sure to also schedule with the higher authority. This may be a little time consuming for both you and the existing client. However, it’s highly effective when used with the proper client and product.
Be considerate of the higher authority and don’t ask them to do this for every potential new client—just the key or large sales. If Jim Johnson is a well-known local sports figure and you’re meeting with Sam Smith, who’s just been acquired by the local team, just having the two of them make a professional connection could prove beneficial for each of them. You, the person who brought them together, then achieves a double win! You score both accounts AND the potential for reciprocal or appreciative efforts on their part.
The simplest method for using a satisfied client’s name is to have him or her write you a letter about how happy he or she is. Once you’ve gotten him or her happily involved in your product, you have earned the right to ask for a testimonial letter. All you have to do is say these words: “Mr. or Ms. Client, I’m so pleased that you are enjoying the benefits of our program. And, I so appreciate the opportunity I have of personally servicing your account.” (By the way, if they aren’t perfectly satisfied with both the product and your level of service, don’t waste your time on this.) “Since you’re so happy with it, you wouldn’t mind dashing off a short letter about our experience together that I might show to another prospective client, would you?”
If your clients show any hesitation, or even if they agree but look as though it’s just one more thing to add to their to-do list, say this: “In fact, to save you time, I would be happy to write up something brief that you could simply put on your stationery and approve.”
You might be wondering why you would do this. Well, first of all, you’ll be sure it gets done in a timely manner. The client may agree to do it, then put it at the bottom of his or her never-ending list of things to do.
Secondly, you’ll write a much better letter than he or she will. Don’t laugh at this. You’d be surprised to learn how many people don’t mind giving endorsements or testimonials, but just don’t want to do the work involved. And, why not write it yourself. I recommend that you draft half a dozen possibilities of words that would work to your advantage. Then, be ready with something like this:
The time we shared during the acquisition of our new mortgage was truly a pleasure. I so appreciated the detailed information you provided including how we might address some of our needs that may change in the future. You hit the nail on the head with handling our concerns in your presentation and we’re so happy we went ahead with the loan you recommended. It is perfect for us. We look forward to working with you on a continuing basis for many years to come.”
John and Mary Smith
See how nice that is? And if you’ve done your job properly, they will be happy to approve it for your usage with other prospective clients. It’s painless for them and priceless for you.
Work on the ways clients can do the bragging for you and you’ll soon find yourself closing not only more sales, but closing sales more easily.
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