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How To Do Sales With NPS

Most people think NPS is a single-use tool for measuring customer loyalty.

Most people are wrong.

If that’s how you still think of NPS, you are not getting the ROI that you could otherwise. We at Promoter.io believe that the power of Net Promoter transcends simple customer loyalty, and I am going to write a series of articles of alternative ways you can be using NPS starting today.

Before I tell you how to do sales with NPS, let me explain why it’s such a powerful tool by explaining an old fable of the camel’s nose.

The Camel’s Nose

You were crossing the sahara desert with your camel when you set up camp for the night. Most people think the desert is really hot, but at night, the desert becomes incredibly cold. Like below freezing.

So that night, which was particularly cold, your camel knocks on the tent and asks if he can come in and warm up a bit. He’s a camel though, and clearly if he comes in you won’t be comfortable. So you say no.

But the camel persists. He asks if he can JUST put his nose in so at least his nose will stay warm. You can’t see the harm in that, so you say ok. An hour later, he asks if he can JUST put his hoof in. You can’t see the harm in that, so you say yes.

A couple hours later, the entire camel made his way into the tent.

A direct sales approach can often get the same results as the camel’s first request.

So how do you find your camel’s nose? That’s where NPS comes in. NPS is about the most non-threatening customer engagement method in the world. That’s why it gets such a high response rate (8-10x more than most surveys).

When people give you their response (no matter what score it is), they have invited the camel’s nose into the tent. What you do next can vary based on the desired outcome. Your camel can be a sales pitch, a case study or a request to post a review of your product or service. Or something entirely different.

Make More Sales Through NPS

In this article, we will cover what to do if your goal is to make more sales.

There are 3 ways to turn NPS into more sales. I have covered 2 in other articles and will cover the 3rd and final sales approach in this article.

  1. Get more positive reviews posted on independent sites (Amazon, Yelp, Google, etc)
  2. Ask your existing customers for new customer referrals
  3. Use NPS to start a survey sales funnel process

We will cover technique #3 here, but first another short story.

In The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a gifted but troubled salesman Jordan Belfort (a real guy who wrote the book that turned into the movie during his time in jail). Jordan’s the kind of guy who people say could sell ice to eskimos. In a quintessential scene, Jordan asks some new salesmen recruits to sell him a pen.

On CNN, Piers Morgan challenges Jordan Belfort to sell him a pen (it is on youtube, if you want to watch what he says). But I’ll summarize his answer for you: you can’t sell a pen to someone who doesn’t already need a pen.

FACT: You can’t sell ice to eskimos.

You need to first find out people’s existing problems (e.g. I need to sign a contract and don’t have a pen OR I need to cool down my drink and I am somewhere hot). Then you sell them your solution to their existing problem.

The Survey Sales Technique

In Ryan Levesque’s breakout book, Ask: The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy, he explains how to use online surveys to find out people’s problems so that you can create custom tailored sales pitches.

It’s genius really … people fill out the survey telling you what their biggest problem is, then you can tell them (honestly, unless you are a liar like Jordan Belfort and deserve to go to jail) that your solution solves their problem (not just a general class of problems).

So how do you use NPS to start a survey sales funnel?

Easy. It’s all in the NPS follow-up. After someone has sent you their score (and ideally, some feedback as to why they gave you that score), simply send a response like this:

Dear [First Name],

Thank you for taking the time to fill out my survey. It means a lot to me and I read each and every response personally and carefully.

I noticed you [had trouble with OR enjoyed OR were confused] by [a feature OR a service], and that’s great feedback for me and my team.

But I was wondering if you could tell me why that was so important to you. What problem are you trying to solve in your business that the [feature OR service] didn’t quite live up to?

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Notice that you can send this response regardless of whether they gave you a great score or a terrible one. People love to complain, and even more so when they are invited to complain. So use that to your advantage and invite them to tell you how you could do better.

What will happen is that you will receive real data that is very hard to come by any other way… people will be telling you what their biggest problems are and why they haven’t found a solution to them yet.

You can aggregate and learn from the data to either:

  • improve your existing product or service
  • create a new product or service that addresses the bigger problem
  • sell the customer on another product or service they didn’t know you had available

Conclusion

Now you can see that NPS is so much more than just a customer loyalty scale. If you are ready to get pro-active, NPS can really become a secret weapon in your hands. And the best part is that your customers will appreciate it too. Everyone wants to be heard in this world, and wants their opinion to count for something. Nobody wants to send anonymous data into the void. So let your customers be heard and make sure they know it. There is no better way to build a sustainable business.

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Chad Keck

As a product lead and executive for numerous successful ventures (Rackspace, HP Cloud, AppFog), Chad founded Promoter.io to help bring the actionable insights provided by Net Promoter to all businesses. He is a native Texan with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs.

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