Inactive customers are people who may have bought only once from you or placed a small order. Never think they are not worth calling. It is a vital sales strategy to stay in touch with these customers as well as with your existing customers because you will be able to make more sales from them. Here’s how …
Maybe at the moment inactive customers might not justify a face to face call but you can certainly pick up a phone to stay in touch. You might be afraid to call them because they might tell you that they have gone to another supplier or they had a bad experience with you.
When you change the emotion of fear to care for your customers, you will find opportunities to sell that you never thought were possible. If someone has only bought from you once, they still need to be nurtured and kept informed by you of what is new in your business in the event that they want to buy in the future. If they have gone to another supplier, you need to know “why” so you can make some improvements on what you are currently doing to attract new business and if they had a bad experience you also need to know “why” so you can find a way to rectify the experience before they tell 40 other people.
DO NOT SAY “You bought ____ from us last year and I was wondering if you would like to buy more this year?” or “you haven’t done any business with us recently”
Get into a conversation and start with
“Good morning ______ we enjoyed doing business with you last year when you purchased ______ from us.
We are wondering what products (or services) you will be looking for in the future?
What is most important to you when choosing _______?
How can we assist you to _____? (Or)
What would you like us to do to help you meet those goals?)”
(Make sure your questions begin with “what”, “where”, “why”, “which” “who” “when” “how”, not a question that can only get a yes/no answer).
Repeat back what they say and then be ready to talk about what is new in your business and what you can now offer them.
WHEN INACTIVE CUSTOMERS ARE NOT HAPPY
If the customer was not happy with your service and that is why they do not order from you more, then this is great to know so you can attempt to rectify the situation. Ask them
“What happened?” (“Be quiet and listen)
“I’m sorry to hear that happened.”
Repeat back what they said to show you were listening
Suggest a way to compensate them or reassure them why this would never happen again, get their agreement and then you can move on to informing them about your new products and services.
WHEN INACTIVE CUSTOMERS HAVE GONE TO ANOTHER SUPPLIER
Find out what they like about that supplier and what they don’t like and make an offer. You can find out by asking:
“What made you choose that new supplier?”
“In an ideal world what could they do better?”
You then offer to do what makes them choose a supplier and what they would like the new supplier to do.
Use “What if” we could do (what you like about your current supplier and what else you would like them to do), you might like to get a quote from us next time mightn’t you?”
CALL 5 – 10 INACTIVE CUSTOMERS A DAY AND RECORD THE BUSINESS YOU GET EACH WEEK FROM THIS STRATEGY. YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED.
My favourite quote: “People don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care”.