A few months back my wife and I heard about an age 55+ community of patio homes being built in the town where we claim “dual-citizenship”, as we have grown children and grandchildren there. For the last three years we have only maintained a small apartment in that area, but Grandma said she really wants “something a bit larger and nicer for the next few years, until the grands no longer want to visit as much as they do now.”
We drove through the development to scope it out, but as we stopped to point and comment about one of the homes, out popped Lanis from his garage. He walked up to our car with a big smile on his face, so I pushed the button and opened the window. He continued smiling as he introduced himself while asking if we were looking for a good place to retire. We responded by introducing ourselves and answered that we were, as he said, “Welcome home.”
He told us he bought his house over a year ago and that it was the smartest move he could have made, since he and his wife had decided to downsize. He spent the next couple minutes talking about the great neighbors, the maintenance-free living, and the get-togethers at the community gazebo. He shook off his faraway look and told us the developer wasn’t there that day, but that his neighbor Christine would be glad to show us her home, plus she had a key to the model home.
Before we had a chance to say that we would come back when the developer was scheduled to be there, Lanis whipped out his cell phone and speed-dialed Christine. Within 60 seconds she walked out her door, smiling and introducing herself. We reciprocated as she invited us inside, while Lanis tagged out of the conversation and said he thought we would be a great fit there, and he looked forward to us moving in.
Later this week we all begin a new year. As you head back to the office Monday and hang up a 2015 calendar and look for a starting place in your new sales year, don’t forget that, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” If your 2014 sales results weren’t as good as you wanted, would it be smart to consider a different approach? If so, look here to see how to do that.
As Christine extolled the virtues of living in that development, she showed us through every room of her house, while my wife and I started feeling more and more like Truman Show cast members. As we followed her across the street to the model home, she pointed out the differences between the two floor plans. She knew where the information brochures were, and gave us one, along with a rundown of all the upgrades that were available that she would recommend. I finally asked her if she was a real estate agent for the property, and she laughed and told us that she, and everybody in that community, were simply super-satisfied customers. She assured us that she didn’t receive a dime for all the schmoozing and good press. Before we could get back to our car, residents from two more of the nearby homes came out to meet us and assure us this was the best neighborhood ever.
Long story short, two days later we sat down with the developer, who didn’t have much left to do, and signed a sales contract and plunked down an earnest money check for Lot #5. Our patio home is currently under construction and we should be able to move in right after Christmas.
This personal story brings me to the central point of this post, Good Will Ambassadors. GWA’s, for short, are customers who are so connected to you and your company that they function almost like unpaid employees, always talking positively about you and what you sell. They will sing your praises and carry your water to others in their marketplace, as long as you continue to wow them. I would definitely categorize my new friends in my new neighborhood as GWA’s!
It’s hard to find anybody who disagrees that word of mouth is the best advertising; and “developing” GWA’s is the ultimate application of this principle. It’s not as hard as you may think:
- Identify extremely satisfied customers
- Provide them with information you want disseminated and point them in the right direction
- Coach them when necessary
- Report all good news concerning new customers to GWA’s and brag on their effectiveness
- Reinforce and reward them appropriately
Just a few GWA’s will eventually grow into a fan club that will ensure your ability to dominate your marketplace like nobody in your office ever has before.
©2014 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC