Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your customers were slavishly loyal and just ordered more and more? And, wouldn’t it be great if they only ordered from you and not from your competitors? In some cases, that may well be the case. But, the fact is that some custom is transient. Some customers stay with you through thick and thin and many can be tempted away by seductive offers and incentives. Customer loyalty isn’t a quick fix. You, therefore, have to work hard from the outset. That’s in order to win those new customers, encourage them to buy more from you and to make sure that a new customer isn’t just a one-time buyer. With that in mind, below are our 12 tips for how to sell more to current customers?
12 tips for how to sell more to current customers
Don’t neglect first impressions
Your first impression carries great weight. That starts before the initial sale. And, that means every prospect/customer ‘touch point’ from the person on reception in your building to your switchboard to your sales people to those in customer care roles. Do they represent your business and brand appropriately? Do they leave a positive impression that encourages customers to want to do business with you? Rapport-building, at this early stage, is critical. Do you seem like the kind of people and organisation they can trust? And, don’t forget that also relates to the impression they receive when they first see your website.
Your people are your brand
Following on directly from the last point, this goes way beyond the first point of sale. Every subsequent interaction counts and can dissuade customers from or encourage them to keep on buying from you. That means you need to ensure that everyone is part of your story. Every employee that engages with a client is part of the customer journey. Each person that engages with the customer needs to be upbeat and customer focused. That impetus comes from the top down.
Implement effective systems
Not everyone has funky marketing automation that cleverly allows them to personalise every interaction to ensure that every contact adds value. It will help if you can afford such technology but it’s only as good as the people that use it. Smaller businesses don’t have that luxury. But, there are other things you can do. Today, I called a data broker partner and, after answering the phone, the switchboard operator asked me if I was Jonathan. Nice touch even though I know it just popped up on her phone system from my previous calls!
Clearly, the more you can utilise CRM and other systems to ensure that anyone interacting with customers has all of the past information and contact history at their fingertips, the better. There’s nothing worse than a customer feeling unloved due to having to repeat the same thing several times to different staff.
Personalisation is essential
Personalisation is key. Customers don’t want to feel like a number. They want to feel that you’re providing tailored responses and services. Therefore, within reason and subject to viability, the more you engage at a personal level the more they will trust you. The more they trust you, the more they will buy from you.Whilst systems support your ability to do this, people that carry it through.
Maintain regular and relevant contact
Do you have some form of contact strategy for your customers? How frequently do you communicate? Inherently, communication must be relevant. Ill-targeted calls or emails won’t work and will alienate. People are busy and you’re wasting customers’ time. Have a reason to communicate. But, make sure you don’t leave it too long or customers will find alternative partners that do engage with them regularly.
Validate your databases
One basic reason to keep in regular contact where you have lots of customers is to make sure that your buyer hasn’t changed. Lots of personnel changes take place every year. In larger organisations, that change can be significant. Suddenly, you’ve lost that hard-earned relationship. Therefore, find a good reason to keep in touch both by phone and by email that ensures you pick up any movement. If you don’t have the internal manpower to validate your customer databases, use an agency like GSA to run periodic data cleansing activity. If you don’t do this, you could be wasting significant marketing funds targeting the wrong people and missing opportunities with the right ones.
Get to know your customers
The more you know about your buyers, the more you can tailor offers and solutions to their needs. That means asking the right questions at the outset and holding that profiling information in a usable format on your system to enable you to filter offers and communication by those requirements. There’s no point sending an offer to your whole database when some customers may view it as spam. It’s also worth undertaking a gap analysis of your customers and products. You can do it relatively simply by looking at those customers that:
- Have only bought once
- Have only bought certain products and services but not others
- Have only purchased at a certain value level
Once you have this information, you can then devise offers and solutions to communicate to customers in order to encourage them to purchase further from your business.
Do you know all of your potential customers?
In big companies, there could be multiple decision makers in different departments or for different product groups or brands all with individual budget authority. Have you asked for referrals? Have you tried to communicate with other potential buyers within the same company or group? People are time-poor and they aren’t always thinking about you and your products. So, always make a point of asking the referral question if they’re happy with you and your services.
Be a problem solver, not a problem maker
Customers don’t exist to make your life difficult. They don’t purposely give you grief. But, sometimes they have pressures that make them act and react in certain ways that promote challenges for your business. So, try to be a problem solver. Try to deal with issues swiftly and proactively so that they feel that you’re taking their concerns and requirements seriously. It has been well documented that a positive solution to a problem will ensure that customers are more loyal to you than before the problem occurred.
Anticipating needs isn’t necessarily straightforward, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of customers. You can’t sit everyone down and work through every possible need in the future. However, this does require you to understand your marketplace and the types of things that customers need now and going forward. Change is constant. And, that could be industry specific, technological or legislative or even social change. What can you do to fashion a new service offering around these drivers that could add value to your customers?
Be a trusted adviser
Giving customers advice should be par for the course these days especially in higher value sales. Become a trusted adviser if you can. Be someone that clients can rely on and who they come to for input. If they see you in that way, the sale is much easier to close when you have something new to promote to them. Ultimately, people still buy people and trust is an essential component of any higher value purchase.
Make your website a magnet
Don’t forget the value of your website to customers as well as for prospects. Old-style, brochure sites don’t work anymore either for customers or search engines. You need interesting and engaging content that informs, educates and thereby entices customers to come back. If a customer can find stuff out on your website that, at the same time, enhances their impression of your business and the value it adds to them, you’re in a good position to sell more to them. You’ll be more likely to be their first choice when it comes to fulfilling their business needs.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we’re still in the people business even in the internet age. Therefore, you need to focus externally on your customer needs rather than internally and you’ll sell more to current customers.
If you’d like to know more about how GSA can help with customer contact activity or inbound enquiry management, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or use the form on this site.