Paul shares tips on how to elicit feedback from your customers and just how important that is.
“Feedback is what’s going to make you better.”
List the value-added extras you offer your customers. Ask your best customers which of those extras are more important.
Ask your customer, “Why do you do business with us?”
Find out what the customer would change about ….
Do these things and you’re going to be more successful, you’re going to block out the competition, and create some great marketing tools.
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How do I get feedback from my customer?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how to get feedback from our customers, and how important it is. So welcome to today’s episode.
Before we get into that question, though, on getting feedback from our customers, let’s give a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Andrea does a wonderful job in the podcast. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, if you have one up and running already and you need some support, whether it’s editing, whether it’s producing, whether it’s just getting the thing up and running, Andrea does an amazing job. She’s been extremely helpful in getting this podcast going, and also keeping it going, which is a big part of it. In fact, I found out the other day that most podcasts don’t even make it past like 50 episodes or something. It’s crazy. We’re well above that. We’re like close to 160 now. So Andrea and her team do a wonderful job. If you need some help with your podcast, reach out to her: The Creative Impostor Studios. We’re going to link over to her website on this episode’s webpage.
Also, pick up your latest edition of Value-Added Selling. It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, wherever you get your books. Actually, one of the things we’re going to talk about today is tinkering, which is a—it’s a concept that is in Value-Added Selling. It’s about looking for ways to tweak, improve, and enhance. It’s a critical part to selling value. So, if you’re struggling with price objections, make sure you pick up your copy. It’s going to be your go-to guide. Again, Value-Added Selling fourth edition on Amazon or wherever you get your books.
All right, let’s get back to that question. How do I get feedback from my customers? This is an important question for several reasons. Number one, feedback is what is going to help you become better. Regardless of where you are at in your career, whether you’re a new salesperson, whether you’re an experienced salesperson, whether you’re a new business owner or an experienced business owner, wherever you’re at in your career, feedback is what’s going to make you better.
If you’re trying to enhance your company solution, if you’re trying to tweak it, re-create it, make it even better, you’re going to need that feedback. Now, this feedback is also going to help you promote your value added to new prospects. That’s why feedback is so important is it’s not only a tool to help you improve, but it’s also a marketing tool that you can use to promote your value to your prospects. So, feedback is critical. So I’m going to give you a couple of ideas on how you can get feedback from your customers.
Tip number one here: list out 20 to 30 value-added extras that you offer customers. Think about the 20 or 30 value-added extras that you offer. And you might be thinking, ‘I don’t know if we have 30 value-added extras.’ I’m sure you do. Value added exists everywhere. Remember, value added is everything you do to something from the moment you touch it, transform it, or transfer it to someone else. So, list out 20 to 30 value-added extras. If you can, list out 10 company examples of your value added, 10 product examples of your value added, and also 10 value-added examples from yourself, you as the salesperson. You want to list out those 20 to 30 value-added extras. Just get them on paper somewhere. Type it up so that it’s legible, because you are going to share this list with your customers.
Now, once you create this list of 20 to 30 value-added extras, the next thing you’re going to do—step number two: you want to talk to your three best customers. Talk to your three best customers and ask them, “What are the 10 most important value-added extras on this list?” Again, you’re going to go to your three best customers and you’re going to ask them for a favor. You should have a good, solid relationship with them. Just ask them, “Hey, of this list of 30 value added extras, which 10 are the most important to you?” This is going to do a number of things. Number one—it’s going to condense that list of 30 value-added extras down to about 10. That’s a good thing, right? You want to get list—. You want to shrink it down, rather, to a list of 10. Once you have it into a list of 10, it’s a little more manageable.
And then, you’re going to go even one step further. Once you condense that to a list of 10 value-added extras, the third thing you’re going to do—you are going to ask this customer, “Okay, of the 10 things you mentioned are important to you, which 3 are the most important? Which 3 are the most important? Which 3 are the ones you absolutely have to have?” This is going to tell you what is critical to your customer.
So let’s think about what we’ve done up to this point. We’ve created a little list of 30 value-added extras. We’ve condensed it down to 10 based on what our best customers are telling us. And then, we went even one step further and we condensed that list of 10 down to 3. Those 3 things, that is what is absolutely critical to your customer. Now, what you are going to notice when you talk to your three best customers, there’s a good chance they’re going to say all the same things. Most of the stuff they say, I shouldn’t say all, but most of the things are going to be the same. They’re going to care about the same thing. That is critical. That’s going to tell you what is important to your customers.
Now, what’s really interesting is what they’re going to say is the most critical. I’d be curious if those are the same for each of your customers. But either way, you now have feedback on what is important to your customers. Not only the little things that matter, but the critical factors—those three critical factors.
Now, Another way to get feedback, if you’re trying to figure out, “Okay, what’s missing? What’s not on this list?” ask the customer this question. This is the fourth tip. Ask them an open-ended question like this: “Why do you work with us?” “Why do you partner with us versus anyone else?” “Why do you continue to work with us?” Any variation of that question. The customer is going to tell you exactly why and you might be shocked by the answer. That’s the coolest part is you don’t know what they’re going to say. Now, yeah, most of the time, maybe it’s exactly what you thought, but they could come up with something just off the wall, brand new.
One company I did some work with—they spend millions of dollars in R & D and finding the best solution and tweaking it and making it better every year. And one of their best customers said one of the reasons they work with them is because it’s easy to read their invoice. Think about that. Imagine winning a piece of business because your invoice is easier to read. So, tip number four, when you’re going through this exercise, make sure you ask your customer, “Hey, why do you work with us?”
The next two things—these next two tips—these two tips will help you figure out where you need to improve. Remember I mentioned in the opening piece that a lot of this is about tinkering. Tinkering is looking for ways to tweak, improve, and enhance and become better for your customers. So, if your goal is just to improve and get better, and you want feedback from your customers, then you have to ask them. One of my favorite questions to ask a customer, and this is tip number five—. My favorite question to ask customers, “What’s missing from our current solution?” What’s missing from our current solution? Now you’ve got to remember, there is some risk here when you ask this question. And because of that risk, a lot of salespeople won’t even ask it because they don’t want to hear the answer. But you’ve got to remember, your competitors are also asking this question. And your job is to uncover what’s missing so you can create a better overall solution for your customer. And when you create that better overall solution, you are effectively locking out the competition. Make sure you ask the customer, “Hey, what’s missing from our current solution?” If you want to go a step further and get even more information out of them, you’ve got to move on to the sixth tip.
For tip number six, you’ve got to ask this question, “If you could change anything about our current solution, what would you change and why?” Again, if you could change anything about our current solution, what would you change and why? This is going to give you some insight, not only into what you can improve and enhance, but also what is driving their need. That why question, “Why do you need that?” that’s going to help you uncover even more information. And by the way, again, remember your competitors are asking the same question of your solution. I would much rather be part of the conversation. When you’re part of the conversation, you can look for ways to improve and get better.
So I’m going to give you a bonus tip. Number seven here. You created that list of 10 value-added extras, right? And then you ask the customer, “Okay, of these three, which are the most important to you?” As you’re going through that, ask the customer, “How are we performing in this area?” For example, “Mr. Customer, you said availability of product was extremely important to you. How would you rate our performance on a 10-point scale?” What’s going to happen here is, if it’s a good customer, you should be getting good feedback. They’re going to tell you, “Yeah, you’re doing a great job.” That’s wonderful. We want to do that. That’s what we call value reinforcement. It reinforces the value that you deliver, which helps make price less of an issue.
All right guys, those are the basic tips. Again, all you’re trying to do here is get some feedback from your customers on what’s important to them, why they buy from you, but also, where you can improve and how you can get better. You do these things, you’re going to be more successful. You’re going to block out the competition. Not only that, but you’re going to create some great marketing tools to go out there and find new prospects.
Make it a big day.