Have you ever had trouble finding something that’s right in front of you? Businesses often have this same problem. They search high and low for new business, trying every new marketing fad that comes along. Yet the best source for new business is usually clients they already have.
Because the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 -70% compared to just 5-20% to a new prospect. (Source: Marketing Metrics).
After reading this stat, you may think you should immediately get in touch with every client in your database. But that isn’t realistic for most of us. There are only so many hours in a day, after all. And even if you could follow up with everyone in one day, it would not be the ideal approach.
The goal is to build one-to-one relationships that make each customer feel special. That’s why your follow-up strategy should begin with identifying and prioritizing the best follow-up opportunities within your customer base. Here are a few strategies to help you do just that:
Keep notes for targeted opportunities.
There are times when an opportunity to contact a customer will present itself. Birthdays are an obvious example. The less apparent occasions are the ones that will really make an impression and help you stand out. For instance, if you know that your customer is a vegetarian, sharing a meatless recipe provides a natural opening. Or perhaps one of the feature stories in American Lifestyle magazine fits with a particular interest you remember them mentioning. The only way to identify and remember these personal details is to listen to your clients and make notes.
Start with your best clients.
So what if there are no obvious excuses to reach out? How should you prioritize your contact list? Our Marketing Advisors suggest starting with your best customers. They hold the greatest potential for referrals and repeat business. Next, move on to the rest of your customer base and then your sphere of influence. The same strategies you use when planning American Lifestyle magazine mailings are appropriate for your follow-up call plan as well. In fact, coordinating these efforts is a great way to stay organized and maximize the potential impact of your efforts.
Immediately follow up with every new client.
There may not be a better time to reach out than after a business transaction. You’re fresh on your client’s mind, and he or she is likely feeling good. Following up gives you the opportunity to turn those feelings into referrals and shows that you value their relationship beyond the transaction. Call to find out how he or she is doing. Make sure they are still satisfied with the service you provided. And don’t forget to add their address to your American Lifestyle magazine database for mailing exclusivity.
Following up with clients is the best way to keep your business on their minds and put yourself in the presence of opportunity for referrals and repeat business. It sounds pretty simple, but actually doing it is another story. While most customers appreciate an authentic attempt to build an ongoing relationship, they can sense when you’re reluctant, insincere, or nervous. And they’ll respond accordingly.