We’ve just experienced the beginning of the holiday sales season.
Businesses have been offering generous discounts, hoping that customers will buy other merchandise while snapping up discounted items.
How many of those businesses have a strategy to develop an ongoing relationship with new customers?
When using a distribution “front end”, like Amazon or WalMart, do they give an incentive for customers and for those who receive the purchases as gifts to provide their email addresses to receive updates and special offers for new products and services?
Do they “resell” the purchase by providing more information in a thank you letter to make it even more useful? Perhaps the manufacturer should have instructional videos to show how to use the product or service.
Do they invite the user to share their experience by giving reviews on Google reviews, Yelp, Angi, Amazon and other appropriate sites, and provide URL links to make it easy to submit reviews?
For a major purchase, do they give the customer a personal call to find out how it is performing? This is also a good opportunity to suggest friends or relations might also enjoy the product or service, and ask for referrals with a “Who do you know?” question.
Years ago, Frank Bettger, author of the classic sales manual How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling, asked audiences at sales training meetings to raise their hands if the were NOT called by the salesperson after they bought a new car. More than half of the audience members raised their hands. Those salespeople were vitally interested in the customer before they bought, and didn’t bother to pick up the phone to find out if everything was all right. During the 1930s, the Chevolet Motor Company taught its salespeople this motto: “Never forget a customer. Never let a customer forget you” — a good motto for every business to adopt.
For major purchases and subscription services, sending appropriate thank you gifts is a great way to make customers feel appreciated and to cement customer relationships.
The real profitability of the initial sale depends on what happens AFTER the sale.
Would you like a “sounding board” to think through your customer onboarding and retention process? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an initial interview.