Most businesses focus only on attracting new customers. They hunger for new opportunities and new conquests. The familiar [current] customer is already won, so there is no need to devote much time to them, right?
And this is where a lot of businesses miss the boat. You DO need to spend a good chunk of your time nurturing, retaining, and selling to current and former customers. Why? Because they’ve already bought from you! These are people that already know, like, and trust you. They can be a great source of additional sales!
Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and a little less time trying to sell old products to new customers. Get deeper into the accounts you already have and you’ll see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality, and brand loyalty.
Here are some simple tactics you can use to deepen relationships with your current and past customers:
1. Stay in contact:
This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person, and even by carrier pigeon if you have too! Set up a schedule that will be easy to follow and stick with it.
2. Provide post-purchase assurance:
You must follow up with customers AFTER they buy from you. How many times have you purchased a product and then felt completely abandoned by the seller? You chose to purchase from this company and paid good money, right? Yet you never hear from them again!
Your customers want to feel like their purchase made a difference not just to them, but also to you. Show them courtesy and let them know that they are being supported after their purchase. Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information, or a short satisfaction survey can go a long way to turning “just another customer” into a Great Customer.
3. Find out what’s new with your customers:
Just because you did a great fact-find when you sold them last time doesn’t mean you know what your customer is up to now. Keeping in touch with your customer means finding out what is happening with them today, what their plans are, and how their needs have changed.
So many businesses have been told, “Oh, I didn’t know your company could do that. I already bought from Xyz Company.” Why did they buy from Xyz? Because Xyz was the one who saw the problem, presented the solution, and asked for the sale. That is nothing but money you put in someone else’s pocket!
Remember, you know all the things your business can do; your customer may only know the thing they bought from you. Make sure your customers know you care about them and their business. If they are made aware that you can help them, they will buy from you. After all, they have bought from you before!
4. Offer Deals & Guarantees:
People want to feel good about being loyal to you. This is one place where a little attention can go a long way. Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business. Offer preferred pricing, an extra unit of time or product, or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers.
5. Reek with Integrity:
Using good business practices, being reliable, and always being honest goes along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and nonsense going out there. The safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more you will earn their trust. That makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer who will not only buy from you again, but who will sing your praises to anyone willing to listen and who will also be a great source of referrals (don’t forget to ask for these).
So be careful not to spend all your time chasing shiny new customers. Never let the ones who have already opened their wallets to you fall by the wayside!
As Jay Abraham, author and world renowned marketing guru, says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and divert some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”