Secret to Great Sales? Great Service!
What’s your priority: Wooing new customers, or keeping your current ones happy?
Admittedly, there is no thrill like sealing the deal on a new account; that’s
one of the things that makes sales so much fun. But as unglamorous as it may be,
working to retain your existing clientele is generally much more profitable.
Studies show that it’s much more cost-effective to resell an existing customer
than acquire a new one. One recent study suggests it costs 10 times more
to win over a new prospect.
when it comes to servicing your existing customers, you need to keep your eye on
the ball. If you don’t “sweat the small stuff,” you may miss out on some big
our other lives, we’re all “customers,” too. Consider your own negative service
experiences. I had one recently, which illustrates my point nicely.
wife and I recently purchased a second home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The home
required some minor repairs, to be followed in time by larger projects. We hired
the local repair guy, Randy the Handyman, to make these small fixes…letting him
know that larger projects awaited.
Randy’s first assignment: fix a leaky faucet. He put in his time and billed us
accordingly. We assumed he did the work and paid it, only to discover later that
(you knew this was coming, didn’t you?) the faucet still dripped.
called Randy no less than four times. Did he ever return our calls? No. Will he
ever get another piece of business from us? NO!
Randy lost all our potential future business. And that’s not all. Our home is in
a small, social community. Randy the Drip, as we’ve christened him, is now
notorious throughout the neighborhood. No one will risk using him.
because of the magic of the Internet, you’re now aware of Randy’s poor service
practices, too. Who knows? Someday, you may find yourself in Scottsdale and find
this useful. These days, consumers are hungry for input regarding service
providers—as witnessed by the success of companies like Angie’s ListŪ.
moral here is when you don’t provide good service, you forfeit all kinds of
potential future business. You not only lose one customer, but others through
word of mouth.
That’s why it’s so important to keep “selling” your existing customers. And you
know what? It’s actually not that hard or time-consuming at all. For example:
up to your promises. If you say you’re going to do something by a certain
time, just do it.
responsive. Find time in your day to return phone calls and emails promptly.
- Be a
problem-solver. Look for opportunities to offer helpful advice, even if it
doesn’t result in an immediate sale.
in touch. If you read an article that pertains to a customer’s industry or
interests, send him or her a copy. Or send out regular email newsletters,
filled with good information. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just useful.
Follow up after every sale to make sure your customers are pleased with
their purchase. This not only ensures satisfaction, but gives you
opportunities to improve your sales process.
mistakes. If a customer isn’t happy for some reason, bend over backwards to
make things right. Errors are a fact of life; it’s how you respond to them
that sets you apart.
your customers. Make yourself indispensable. Find way to exceed their
Acquiring new accounts
is important and necessary. It keeps your business vital and growing. But don’t
pursue new customers at the expense of your old ones. As they say, a bird in the
hand is worth two in the bush…or maybe as many as ten.