Did you know it’s seven times more expensive to sell to new rather than to existing customers? I’m not sure where that figure comes from, whether market research or guestimate, but it’s an interesting figure none the less. With that number in mind, surely you want to be doing everything you can to keep your customers happy and where possible increase their expenditure. Right?
Well how do you go about doing that?
First of all and crucially, you need to supply a quality product or service that consistently meets your customers needs in the first place. It’s obvious that if you don’t it will be an even harder sell.
But once you’re doing this, how can you keep your customers happy and keep them buying? As with all good sales, there’s a huge degree of listening involved. It’s a well known fact that the best salesman are good listeners as well as good talkers.
Take the time to ask you customers how they are enjoying your product. Ask what they like and dislike, whether there are other products you could sell to them, whether they would prefer you to call twice a month rather than every week, if your product meet their needs or could it be improved?
What you want to know is, are you providing what they want, when they want it, in the way they like it. If not, what could you be doing better. Remember, good salesman are good listeners.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive process. You could issue an annual survey, check out www.surveymonkey.com for a free online survey tool. Or you could conduct a telephone research process with your 50 best customers. Alternatively you could implement an after sales service system such that your sales managers call all customers after a month and conduct a quick telephone interview. If you have lots of money you could even carry out focus groups to measure peoples experience of your product.
There are lots of methods available for listening to your customers. The important thing is that you do. Remember, it’s seven times more expensive to sell to a new customer than an existing customer, so do what you can to keep hold of them.
Image courtesy of Andrew*