By Deb Walton, Chief Gift Officer & Queen of Client Courting

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have convinced us that being “Liked” is the pinnacle of success, the yardstick by which we can measure our, and our company’s self-worth. The truth of the matter is that Likes don’t pay the overhead and rarely translate into sales.

But certainly there is value to be had in those customers who follow your company page, like your social media posts and even comment from time to time. Why wouldn’t you want raving fans?

A fan is someone who will cheer you on and say nice things about you or your company. If the opportunity presents itself, they’ll tell other people about your company, but they won’t look for opportunities to tell others about your company’s services, and may not even share your phone number or website with a prospect.

An evangelist on the other hand, can be your company’s very best friend. They will share your company’s success stories, reach out to friends who can benefit from your help and generally shout your praises from the rooftop, or at least leave a Google review.

Where do you find an Evangelist?

1) Start by looking at people who appear to be raving fans—the ones who take the time to like your Facebook page or make a comment.

2) If they are a recent client, make sure they are included in your company’s thank you program and have received a proper Thank You gift.

3) Review your referral files and see who has sent you business in the past few months. You may find that administrative professionals, nurses or customer service professionals from vendors, doctors’ offices and business services providers are among your top referrers.

4) Create a database with those referrers’ contact info and any other details you may know about them—where they work, their birthday, and how many children they have.

5) Then start an effective Evangelist program to keep those referrers as close to you as possible. This may include special communications, surprises, referral thank you gifts, and discounts they can share with friends or clients.

Finding evangelists may take a little time and effort, but once you have a few in your corner, your company will benefit in ways you may never have imagined. Evangelists can form the foundation of your company’s secret marketing weapon—a group who can alert you to special service niches that may be profitable, bring new top-notch employees to your company, and give you super powers over your competitors.

Nurses Day and Christmas in July are right around the corner and provide an excellent way to reach out to your potential evangelists. Look for upcoming information about Christmas in July, and how this non-traditional holiday can be the best tool in your arsenal. If you need more help finding and recruiting your company’s evangelists, give Deb a call today.

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. -Henri Frederic Amiel