Customers are the most likely future customers

Customers are the most likely future customers. There are many studies that show this to be true. They are cheaper to acquire than new customers, and this is partly because they are easier to influence. After all they are already in the habit of buying from you.

We came across an article by Karl Bryan the American trainer who covers this area. This is some of what he says on the subject ;

“….. many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers.  These are people you already know to be a good sales potential. They’ve already bought from you!”

So it is important to take the time to market and sell new products to your existing and lapsed customers. Spend less time trying to sell old products to new customers, and you will see improvements in sales, customer quality and brand position. Karl Bryan offers this useful list with some added notes from us to make sure you retain your current customers ;

1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, and in person. Keep them posted on what you are doing : new products and services etc.

2. Post-Purchase Relationship Building: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel  you have a genuine interest in them and their experiences with your product or service.  How many times do sales people lose interest the minute they get the order. Something as simple as a Thank
You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.

3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business and help them to get the best deals and advice. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option if their spend warrants it. It’s about making them feel special, valued. It all helps.

4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of half-hearted rubbish sales people. So the more they can trust you to do waht you say when you say you’ll do it, the more the relationship will build, and the more they will trust you.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:
. Quality product/service
. Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
. Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offer them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success. Don’t waste all your time on new prospects while your current customers become someone else’s new accounts.

As the well known motivational speaker Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and divert some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers.”

Good words Jay.

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Introducing you to a guru !

One of the questions we are frequently asked is who do we look to – to give us new ideas, and to inspire us. So as a result we’ll include some material in the blog that gives you some of the top people and their work that we have come across.

There will be a book review on the first of each month for the next few months. These are easy to access – just dip your hand in your pocket and for less than £15 generally you can pick up a wealth of information.

Today’s guru tip is the Birmingham based sales trainer and motivational speaker Peter Thomson. http://www.peterthomson.com/ is a link that will take you directly to his site. You can even sign up for his little weekly tips TGI Mondays at www.tgimondays.com.

I have seen him ‘perform’ at a number of different events, and particularly if you’re a business owner or senior manager, you will find his material inspiring ! Our advice check it out !

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Advice for sales people – it’s the benefits that sell !

For all of us who communicate with customers on the phone, we all know that we have got to make our pitch interesting. And a motto that many sales people adhere to is that the customer will always be thinking “what’s in it for me ?” Unless we can communicate in a way that addresses this key question, chances are that you’ll never really have their interest.

They’re not really interested in how many colours your product is available in, or the turbo boost function is, or that you have 100 depots around the country – unless they understand HOW THAT HELPS THEM. Furthermore benefits are generally based around just 4 things (so it’s not much to remember) and these are covered on the audio CD “Sell the sizzle, not the bacon” http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=10

Think about your pitch, or sales spiel from the customer’s point of view, and you will find it makes a big difference.    

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How to sell when you’re more expensive than your competition

You will frequently be in a situation where your product or service is more expensive than your some of your competitors. This can be a good thing ! First hopefully it means your company is more profitable than your competitor and it also often implies yours is better quality. Also it means you have to use good selling skills to get the deal.

A top free tip for coping with this situation is to just sell the difference, and not the whole price. So if yours is £247 and the competitor is offering something for £219, you should then talk about what they get for the additional £28. “For just an extra £28, you get this ………… ” Then sell the benefits. You see while £247 may sound like a lot, £28 doesn’t. Your customer who is already committed to buying something has already mentally signed away £219, it’s your job to get them to switch to you ! �

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