When business is slow, it’s time to make some more sales. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get existing customers to buy more from you. The expense of picking up a new customer far out way the costs of getting a “second sell” from an existing customer.
It is funny how much effort businesses put into getting new customers and then forget to follow through.
Gather information and build a database of your existing customers. The way your business handles data will make the difference between being a top performer in your niche and just getting by. You should be able to search and find information within seconds about every aspect of your customer base.
Research your existing customers. Do you know their latest plans? Do you know all their buyers? Do you know who else they buy from? Is the owner of the business getting close to retirement? Is the business up for sale? Is the business in trouble? Is the business expanding? If so, which territory are they expanding into?
Successful businesses understand their customer’s fears and desires. They regularly ask questions. Know thy customer and you will stand a better chance of getting the next order.
Follow through by keeping touch regularly with every business that has bought from you in the past. Regular visits, the occasional email, and posting your latest brochure, product offering, or special offer will all help you to keep the customer informed. Never ever stop the lines of communication after the initial sale even if the customer buys elsewhere next time.
After the “second sale” ask for referrals. If the customer has bought from you twice then they must be satisfied with your service and your products.
Reward loyal customers with regular special offers and seasonal gifts. All buyers like to feel special and a small inexpensive gift will really help to cement the relationship. Offer add-ons like extended warranties & better quality products. Would you like fries with that burger?
Get personal with your top customers. Have they been to your house? Have they met your family? Have you met theirs? Have you played any games with them? Wine and dine with your top customers and satiate their appetite.
Offer a discount if the customer buys more than his regular requirement. Do you think it is a good idea to let your customers share the burden of storage, especially of bulky products? Let your customers know about your dead stock. Shift it, even if you make a loss. Eventually, old stock will decay and become worthless anyway. Storing dead stock over time kills your bottom line.
Measure your results. Who is the most profitable sales representative? Who is your best customer? Which advertising campaign really worked well for you? What made it different from all the other campaigns? Which products make you the most money?
It’s really simple, isn’t it? No earth-shattering guidelines above.
Businesses that miss out on even one component from the above will pay the price when their competitor overtakes them. On the other hand, businesses that have a plan to keep existing customers buying more will reap the rewards as word of mouth gets around that they really do care.