There’s nothing like making a sale – that’s what we’re all in business for, right? But a successful business masters the art of maximizing sales – you should think of making your customers, at least the happy ones, your partners in business.
Why do customers make good partners?

Well, think about all the effort it takes to get new prospects in your door or to your website – and they aren’t even guaranteed to buy. A buying customer not only came with interest but already laid their money down for the experience. Depending on how you delivered on expectations, no one is better positioned to further your business desires, for various reasons.

Happy Customer
Source: flickr.com/photos/dantaylor

Here are some ways you can leverage the happiest of your customers for additional success.

1. Get Them Coming Back

Let’s start with the most obvious.

A paying customer is much more likely to buy again, as long as they didn’t get any unpleasant surprises. You should always aim to establish a buying experience they’ll come back for again.
With this in mind, how can you build a relationship with them to get them coming back? By fulfilling expectations first. By actually caring about them beyond just a sale.

You can also take active efforts to stay in touch. Email marketing. Membership clubs. Getting connected with them on social media. Special discounts. Offering free reminders if the purchase is something that needs to happen periodically.

2. Get Them to Buy Other Stuff

The power of the upsell.

Once again, someone who has already trusted you enough to hand you cash is very likely to do so again. Not to mention that you now have valuable information about this customer – mainly, that they buy the type of thing you’re selling. So, what type of other things do people who buy what you’re selling need?

Don’t just think of it in terms of “what else can I sell them?” though. Instead, think, “How can I create more value for them?” “What can I provide that will improve their experience, make their purchase last longer, or expand on it to deliver better results?”

3. Ask for Referrals

Okay, let’s move past this customer.

You’ve established a relationship with them and are working hard to keep them happy; now, how can you leverage their happiness to get to other people?
Well, word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to make sales, and fortunately, a lot of that happens naturally as long as they truly are enthusiastic about the customer service and quality provided. But you can further that love by encouraging it.

Customer Satisfaction
Source: flickr.com/photos/zeetzjones

Don’t be afraid to come right out and ask about referrals if you’re talking in person or on the phone – this is especially effective when offering high-value professional services.
Online, you can ask for referrals by offering discounts if people refer you to a certain number of friends, including a “refer a friend” button on your website, or making it easy for them to blab about you on social media.

People always trust their friends more than they trust a company’s self-serving advertisements, so get them talking!

4. Encourage Them to Leave a Review

It’s not just their own friends who trust your customers more than they trust you – the general prospect, people who don’t know them in the slightest, will trust them easier than they’ll trust you as well. Because they are a neutral party with no stake in the matter.

This is why you should always encourage customers to leave reviews.

You can do this in multiple ways. Sending out emails after sales specifically asking people to leave a review somewhere is pretty useful – and even more so if you target the most stoked of your customers. You can also encourage feedback by sharing good reviews on your social media pages, as this will often motivate other customers to go leave a review as well.

Many don’t even know it’s possible to do this, so make it apparent during and after the sales process.

Testimonials are as good as reviews, especially if you can get permission to use a real name and photograph. Consider plastering your best testimonials all over your website.

5. Turn Their Success Into a Case Study

A great way to leverage customer satisfaction is to take these successes and turn them into case studies that you can use in your marketing efforts. Sometimes you can put these together through customer feedback, but if possible, get on the phone with the customer or interview them via email.

These stories are a great way to bring buying experience alive for other prospects, luring them into a state of curiosity and emotional desire while sparking their imagination about results.
Case studies can be used for ad campaigns, sales pages, blog posts, white papers, videos, audio downloads, teaching, and more.

Case Study
Source: flickr.com/photos/28674126@N02t

6. Find Advertising Hot Points

The feedback you get from happy customers is also a great resource for picking up hot triggers for your advertising campaigns.

It’s difficult to pull your head completely out of your own product or service because you know it too well, and as much as you want to empathize with your prospects, you’ll never know what it’s like to go from a state of ignorance about your offer to getting drawn in, moving through the marketing funnel, and finding the satisfaction (or not) in the provided solution.

Feedback from buying customers can therefore be a goldmine of information about what your customer was thinking before they found the product, what made them buy, what their reservations were, and why they were so happy with the delivery. When you identify these points, you can address them in your sales writing and highlight them as necessary. You can also address particular concerns about the product or service you may not have known about.

Don’t neglect consideration of your unhappy customers either! Their feedback is just as important, if not more, because it reveals how your solution might be incomplete or fall short of expectations. These are opportunities for improvement.
No matter what your customers have to say, you should be listening…and leveraging it for future business success.

Start thinking about how you can make your customers partners that help to grow your business rather than just moving them down a virtual assembly line. They can provide a wealth of profits beyond that initial sale, and ignoring the potential leaves a great deal of money on the table.