New customers always feel good to the business owner or sales representative. Sure the infusion of immediate new cash is great for the product or service they bought, but the biggest value of a new customer comes from the lifetime value of ongoing sales that you can expect from them for (hopefully) years to come. Assuming you don’t do something wrong that makes them go away to your competitor, that new, soon-to-be existing customer is ripe for another purchase maybe this year, next year and many times throughout the course of the life of your business.
Be sure you and your sales team are practising these five methods to retain your customers and watch the repeat sales earnings grow:
#1. Delight your customer
The most important method to grow sales from existing customers is to do things that make them happy. Find out what they need. Be sure to tell them how pleased you were to help them on the sale and remind them of the extra work you put in to make it right.
#2. Suggest sales
Every interaction with a customer is a chance for you to learn more about their needs, and plant a seed for a new need in their mind. If you sell disaster recovery services and have recently landed a new account for that specific piece of business, look for ways to grow the size of the account by extending your services to other areas of the customer’s IT management needs. Who knows how long it may be until the customer is ready for it, but by building trust over time, you will continue to create opportunities for additional sales.
#3. Notice the customer
Setup Google Alerts on your customers so when any of them are in the news (good things only, we hope!) you can send a personal note to recognize their achievement. Or even if your customers are not in the news, finding news relevant to their industry to share with your customers is a great strategy to show you understand their challenges and that you are “thinking ahead.”
#4. Build a foundation of trust
Ways to build trust in your ongoing relationship with the customer include: always do what you said you would do, never disappoint your customer, and acknowledge the limits of your product or service and own up to it – if your product isn’t a good fit for what they need, tell them.
#5. Continue to help
Call your customers to check in with how things are going in their business. Friendly follow-up calls (that aren’t solicitations) go a long way in their mind to show you care. Suggest new people they should network with, new markets they should explore. Let them know how your company is doing, or what new things are on the horizon such as plans to expand, refocus, or a change in leadership.
Grow your profits from within by maintaining a strong repeat sales strategy. Existing customers are an often-untapped market within many businesses and the sales achieved here are often more efficient compared to cold-calling or identifying new sales leads. And when you get a new customer, by all means feel excited – but you should feel most excited not about the one-time immediate sale, but about the long-term potential for repeat business.
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