95% of our customers say they would recommend us to their friends and family… so why don’t they?


Although this isn’t one of my A to Z of Simple Sales Tips, I thought it was worth sharing with you…

A while ago I was walking past the window of my local solicitors. In the window was a poster that proudly declared that, following a survey, 95% of their customers said that they would recommend them to their friends and family.

Quite impressive you might think – I certainly thought so. I mean, for any business to be able to say that more than 9 out of 10 of their customers would recommend their services to their nearest and dearest is pretty damn impressive.

So, after such a bold declaration, I was looking forward to meeting the proprietors of said solicitors at the next local networking meeting.

On the day of the event, I made a bee-line for them and introduced myself.

I was about to congratulate them on their customer survey when they stopped me and said: “We’ve always had trouble getting customers to recommend us.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The firm of solicitors that had gone to the trouble of conducting a customer survey, in order to find out that 95% of their customers would happily recommend their services, were saying they have trouble getting recommendations!

This was one of the biggest contradictory statements I had ever heard. Logically, there should be no reason why a business who is loved enough by their customers to say they would recommend them to practically anyone, would struggle to actually get recommendations.

However, the reason is massively simple.

I asked the solicitors who were having trouble getting their customers to recommend them a question.

“How often do you ask your customers for a recommendation?”

The blank faces answered the question. They had never asked for a recommendation.

Why? Because they assumed that by giving a great service (good enough to get a winning survey) their customers would automatically recommend them – without asking!

Here’s a revelation – people don’t just recommend you. It’s not in our psyche to do so automatically, certainly not in the UK.

We need a gentle prod, a helping hand, a steer in the right direction. Put another way, we need to be asked to do it.

Ask for recommendations and the chances are you will get some.

But one thing is for certain – if you don’t ask you will almost certainly get none, even if you do have customers who have told you that they would recommend you to 95% of their friends and family.

Get asking!

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