The Care and Feeding of Customer Advocates
The very best salesperson for your B2B business is not on your sales team. It is your customer that goes out of their way to tell other businesses about how great you are and the benefits of what you do for them.
These referrals from advocates are gold, and yet most B2B businesses are viewing this passively. They're happy to get what they get. They view it as a fixed resource - something that's just happening to them.
Fortunately there is an opportunity for you to nurture and grow these advocates to accelerate your customer journey and grow revenue.
How do you do that?
Identify current and potential advocates
The first step is identify make a short list of your current advocates - those that you know are talking about you with other businesses. Also make a list of customers that you see as having the potential to do that, but haven't acted on it yet.
Discover their motivation
Once you have those lists, invest time in understanding what's driving both your current advocates and your potential advocates. Do a little anthropology - understand what it is that's motivating each of them.
You might be surprised. - hopefully not, if you've watched my previous videos - that it's not about you.
It's likely not that they want to help you make more money. They have another personal goal or value that's driving this. Talking about you helps them achieve this goal for themselves.
Set your ego aside and focus on objectively understanding what's driving this for them. And then figure out how you can help them achieve their personal goals and business goals.
The best way for you to increase this behavior in your advocates is to go with the existing energy.
Fans vs. fanatics
There are fans and then there are fanatics. These are the people that go above and beyond. They put so much energy into promoting you that you can't make sense of it rationally.
The opportunity you have here is to not be transactional. Don't think, "I'm going do this for you, so you do this for me." Observe what they're doing and find ways to help them achieve that goal.
And you will find that these probably one or two fanatics will make an outsized difference in um outreach and in progressing clients through your funnel.
Think of advocates as untapped potential for your business. Spend time and resources on these people. Nurturing them will deliver high ROI for you, compared to the other things that you're doing to grow your customer base.