Look after your advocates

by Richard White on April 29, 2013 · 1 comment

Young smiling woman spraying flowersI always say that one good advocate is worth ten clients. When networking I am normally looking for potential advocates rather than clients – people who can recommend me to their clients when a sales related problem arises. What gets exciting about having a network of advocates is that provided you look after your direct advocates then your reputation will start to grow through their networks.

I am regularly amazed at how badly some people treat their advocates. I had one company who I had been advocating and had referred to them almost £50,000 of business over a couple of months. When I decided to use them for my own business they took advantage of the relationship and gave me a very sloppy service saying they were too busy with other clients. The clients I had referred to them by the way!

I did not recommend them again and actually gave my revised feedback of their service to several people who were interested in using their services. Because my needs were miniscule compared to the clients I referred I was given a second-class service. I always assume that the service I am getting is the one that people I refer will get so I very quickly stopped recommending them.

Just think how much business they lost by not making sure I was treated at least as importantly as one of their regular clients. Whilst my direct spending may have been low, my ability to add to the profits of the company was already proven – they just did not see it.

Many of my best advocates have never paid me a penny for the help I have given them. They are not in my ideal audience and yet they are in a great position to recommend me to their clients. Always expect a good advocate to want to check you out in some way. Maybe they will want to sample your services.  Another option is to introduce them to your clients who hopefully will be happy to advocate you.

Look after your advocates and they will look after you!

Richard White
Richard White is a sales coach and trainer. He specialises in helping IT consultants win more sales through effective networking. Richard is the author of ‘The Accidental Salesman Networking Survival Guide’ and is a highly sought after speaker on the subjects of networking and soft selling.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

david hollands May 5, 2013 at 11:19

Hi Richard
Great personal summery of the importance of advocates. its is so easy to forget especially in the fast changing and fickle business world we are now having to endure.

BNI sets the scene perfectly fo creating this vastly overlooked marketing tool thanks for sharing how the need for companies and individuals need to understand the power of ‘givers gain’ it could be said that if you were on commission for the 50,000 you probably would have got a better reception from them when you approcached for you small request and got ‘sloppy service’ .
It is sad to experiance how far main stream business has drifted away……the need to change is so obvious. Love to speak sometime …


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