Upon completing a home improvement installation, it’s standard practice to ask the homeowner for a referral. That is, an introduction to neighbors, family members or anyone else that homeowner thinks could also be interested in purchasing your product.
Fact is, these are among the best sales leads you can get. First, because they don’t you cost anything. And second, because attached to them is an implicit recommendation of your company direct from your newest satisfied customer.
Naturally your first task after receiving a referral from a satisfied customer is to say “thank you.” But your next task is not to simply shake hands and leave. It’s to go one step further and ask that homeowner to post a positive review about your company on the Yelp Web site.
Yelp enables consumers of all sorts of products and services to post reviews about their experiences. I’ve written about the importance to you of these online review Web sites before; see:
But why is Yelp particularly important to you? Let me explain by sharing a story about my personal experience.
I’m about to move to an apartment the other side of Boston. That means I needed to hire a moving company. I went online and quickly found four different moving companies who could probably do the job. But before I called any of them, I went to Yelp to check on any reviews their past customers may have posted.
In fact, past customers of two of the companies I had identified had terrible reviews on Yelp. Another had many more positive reviews than negative reviews, but no one was gushing over their service.
The fourth company I checked on however, RoadRunner Moving and Storage, was different. I found a number of glowing reviews from many different customers about the service they provide. Here’s a sampling:
You can read all of the reviews for yourself by going to Yelp.
Now, I’d never heard of RoadRunner before, as they do no advertising whatsoever. However, they do apparently encourage their satisfied customers to log onto Yelp to share their experience.
And, over the last couple of years, they’ve acquired 40+ reviews, most of which say great things about their company.
Based on the strength of their reviews, I invited RoadRunner in to give me an in-home estimate. Their estimate seemed reasonable enough, and without calling any other companies, I signed on the dotted line. My $2,000 went in their pockets, principally because of on the strength of their Yelp reviews.
I’m not alone. Every day, thousands of consumers researching solutions to their home improvement problems head to Yelp.
My advice is to insist your sales reps to always ask their satisfied homeowners for referrals. And then to request that your customers post a positive review about your company on Yelp. You might even make it easy for them, and print up inexpensive cards displaying Yelp’s Web site address your sales reps can pass out.
However you decide to do it, just do it. And start today.
Just think: if you can get one out of every ten of your satisfied customers to sing your praises on Yelp, you’ll be well on your way to building a great online reputation…as well as a great source of leads!