Employees are the face of the company in the outside world and what they communicate to their surroundings about their employer and its products has an important role to play in business’s reputation. From the opinions they express about their company’s services to how happy they are at work, employees can have a strong impact on others’ perceptions and trust in the firm’s brand. Given their word-of-mouth power, a business can benefit from it in order to enhance its credibility and eventually increase its sales.
Where to start?
To achieve the above, all employees should obtain in-depth knowledge of the firm’s products and services, even though this might not fall under their departmental responsibilities. Many companies focus on training the employee only on their job duties and they miss out of the bigger picture. Also, the induction trainings the new hires go through, are not enough for an employee to feel confident in promoting the business.
Trainings and seminars on company’s products, services, new developments and soft selling skills should take place on a regular basis for all staff. The aim is for employees to be able to identify a selling opportunity within their social network and attract new clients where possible. Additionally, they should have the knowledge to answer basic questions about the business, its products and services.
Don’t get this wrong. Employees are not expected to act as per the actual sales team. However, it will be truly beneficial if they develop the mindset of not missing a possible client prospect that might arise from casual conversations within their social circles.
Examples of conversations within social groups:
Person 1: Hey George, long time no see. How are things? How is work going?
Person 2: Same as usual, very busy at work. Lots of projects going on.
Person 1: Are you still working at XXXX? I was actually thinking about this XΧXX service your company offers. I think it can help in my business growth. I will check your website for more.
Person 2: Actually I think it will be better if I get you in touch with John – he is our service specialist. He can really help you out. If you don’t mind I can pass on your contact details and he can give you a call on Monday to discuss about your needs.
Person 1: Sure, that would be great. Thanks! Any plans yet about summer holidays?
Never miss a chance to bring colleagues together
Another common mistake many organisations do is that they miss bringing together employees working at the various departments. Therefore, colleagues do not have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and information about the tasks/products/services each one is working on. This results into people working in silos understanding only a small piece of the business operations. Team building activities and knowledge games between the different departments can be an excellent addition to employees’ training for their empowerment.
How to master it?
With reward schemes in place, companies can motivate their people to identify leads and opportunities within their social network in order to attract new clients. It is more likely that people will have enhanced trust to a friend or relative recommending them a product or service.
Furthermore, the business can offer special discounts for new clients who sign up or buy a product through an employee. This would be a win-win both for the business and the new clients.
The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not in any way reflect the views of my current or any previous employers.