The more ways you can engage your customers, the more you’re likely to sell. It’s common sense, yet rarely done consistently. Here are a few ways to increase customer interaction:
1. Encourage Criticism. “I do not consider a sale complete until goods are worn out and customer still satisfied,” declared Leon Leonwood Bean in 1916. L.L. Bean’s no time limit unconditional guarantee remains the company’s hallmark. Customers shop with unparalleled confidence, knowing that problems will be rectified without question.
2. Start a Referral Program. Ask your customers for names of friends who might be interested in your products. Consider rewarding them when a friend purchases from you.
3. Ask for Product Evaluations. If you’re considering introducing a new product, invite customers to join a review panel. Let them use your product and give you feedback on its pros and cons. What better focus group than your own customers?
4. Encourage Testimonials. Repeatedly invite people to give you their comments. Every time you interact with your customers – be it on your web site, in your catalog, or on the phone – ask for testimonials.
5. Solicit Photos. Pictures sell product. Run photo contests for the largest gourd, the greenest lawn, or the biggest dahlia. Invite people to send photos of your products in use, and offer something if you use the shots on your web site or in your catalog.