It’s only an illusion that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Relationship building is key to the success of any business, and the relationships you need to focus on are the ones you already have. Just think about that for a minute. Businesses work hard and spend considerable funds searching for new customers, and yet few work hard to keep the customers they have.
Salespeople spend time building relationships to close the sale and then about forget the buyer. Everyone has good intentions during the sale, but then what happens? Sold customers are the most valuable assets a company has.
Stay in touch with them so they remember who you are. Staying in touch doesn’t mean you’re being pushy. E-mails and notes to your customers should be helpful and friendly. If you stay in touch, when the customer needs something she will call you or tell her friends.
Sold customers can help you get new business and build your brand. If they remember you and have a good impression of you, it’s more likely they will tell a friend why they should buy from you. This is also known as ‘word of mouth’ marketing. Studies show that 90% or more of business comes from these kinds of referrals. To be effective, customers need to know what to say. Sending email messages to your sold customers provides that message in a subtle way.
If you show your gratitude, you will stand out. Treat your customers as valued friends. Unless you breach your friendship, it will be a long-term relationship. Why not send a note to twenty or thirty of your customers telling them how much you value their business? When was the last time you got a personal note from a salesperson? Salespeople are often told to send thank you notes after the sale, and that’s the last time the customer hears from them. Be a standout. If your customers feel valued, they will always want to help out.
So, how can you capture your customers’ e-mails and build your e-mail marketing database? An easy way is to offer to e-mail their receipts. Many retailers including Home Depot®, Kohl’s® and Office Depot® use this method to build their database. Other ways to build your customer database include: Asking for testimonials to share or conducting a survey; offer a small gift for completing the survey and request contact info to send the gift. Once you have your email list – go for the gold! Use it to communicate events, new products, and sales in addition to the occasional personalized message.