In order not to miss out on sales, it is important to change our strategies from time to time, particularly strategies to retain existing customers
I remember in the recession, when the training side of my business slowed down, I realised how important it was to retain existing customers. I made the decision to call some of my past in-house training clients to give them ideas of what they could be doing to get more sales at that time.
As a result of asking them good strategic questions, (And not just “How are you going?”) they realized what they were not doing and should be doing. Recognizing the extent of my experience in sales and marketing many hired me to review their marketing material, write their sales systems and strategy, (something they had never documented before) create their inbound and outbound call scripts, document the tasks of each salesperson’s role and create a training manual so that anyone new starting the role could start training themselves. The number of consulting jobs that resulted from this exercise replaced the reduction in training jobs I was experiencing at the time.
Sometimes we do have to reinvent ourselves in times like this and change what we are doing. So what are you doing to reinvent your strategy on how to retain existing customers?
Are you making yourself a pest by calling them too often or are you only calling them when you want them to place another order? If that is you, what else can you do to stay in touch with them?
Think how you can help them as opposed to sell them.
The phone connection is still important but not too often. Here are a few other ideas that I use to stay in touch. I hope they help you.
Ideas For Staying In Touch With Existing Customers
- Send a monthly Tips Newsletter to help them be more successful or informed.
- Send an article of interest from the newspaper or magazine of interest, mail it to them with a little note saying“Thinking of you when I saw this article – Enjoy” or “Hope you find it useful.” It could be about a personal interest you know they have e.g. golf, tennis, cars.
- Review your notes on them and develop a reason for calling that will give value to them. Say something like,“Last time we spoke, I remember you said you were going to have to replace the engine in your car in the near future. I found an article the other day on how to prolong the life of your car’s engine and I would like to send it to you if that is okay?” Then, get into a discussion around that and find out what else is going on in their life.
- Send a special offer specific to the customer
- Tell them about any government changes or industry changes to keep them informed.
- Invite them to a networking function you are attending
- Put on drinks or a networking meeting at your office
- Give them a referral
- Send a surprise gift to thank them for their business.
- Share one of your client’s Facebook or LinkedIn posts and let them know you did so.
Get More ideas from my bestselling book “Don’t Get Hung Up – How To Sell Products and Services by Phone”