"I'm going to give him an offer he can't refuse." You can channel your inner Don Corleone during recruitment calls! Now, we don’t mean THAT sort of offer, but there is a way to position advocacy activities during a recruitment call with a customer where they really can’t refuse you.
Traditionally in the advocacy world you have a laundry list of activities that you want/need customers to participate in like taking reference phone calls, participating in analyst surveys, speaking at conferences, writing case studies. The problem with that is the customer only hears what you, the vendor, is getting out of the relationship. They’ve most likely been burned so many different times by other vendors that the laundry list begins to sound as monotonous as Luca Brasi rehearsing his pledge to Don Corleone at his daughter’s wedding.
It’s easy to forget in the middle of all the craziness of trying to insert a customer voice in every situation possible that Customer Advocacy is a two-way street. The customer will gladly sing your praises from the hilltops of Sicily because you made them feel special and that they had an impact, so give them an opportunity to make that impact and to do the things they really want to do.
Andreas Silva is our recruiting expert. Instead of asking advocates “Would you be willing to take a reference call?” he asks “How would you like to connect with your peers?”
Instead of asking “Would you take an interview with an analyst?” we ask “Would you like to make an impact on your industry by giving product feedback to an analyst?”
And finally, instead of asking “Would you speak at a user conference?” try “Would you like to be seen as a thought leader amongst your peers?” or “Have you ever considered elevating your personal brand by speaking at ____ Conference?” You can almost hear those gears turning in their heads.
See the difference? Hard to say no, isn’t it?
The key to all of this is really listening to the customer and understanding what makes them tick. These are people and at the end of the day and we all have things that get us fired up. Position the various advocacy activities in a manner such that they really see the value of being engaged and participating in all the activities you have to offer. Soon enough they’ll be jumping out of their seats when you, “The Don”, come calling.