Free daily advice for people in small business
from someone who has been there, done that.
Customers can be a gold mine. Mining your customers can bring them back again and again. And they will refer others to you.
When you are totally focused on making the sale in front of you, you run the risk of losing future sales. Ignoring a longer term relationship with your customer works against you.
Every customer represents more than is first apparent. Your job is to dig deeper. Expanding the conversation beyond the subject at hand will pay off in the future.
Example: Customers who come to the garden center to buy patio pavers or bricks will appreciate conversations, tips and techniques of construction. If you suggest incorporating a fire pit or a small fish pond, it can lead to expanded or future sales.
Example: A customer likes a recliner at a furniture store. It's common to engage the customer in a conversation about a matching sofa. But set up future sales by talking up room layouts and design. This elevates the conversation into a track that will be appreciated and remembered.
Example: You're an accountant and you have customers you only see once each year--at tax time. Offer to show them how to upgrade and simplify their bookkeeping chores--in a private, one-on-one session. This can result in expanding your involvement with customers, and they will talk about you with their friends.
Setting up customer repeats vary in different businesses. With women's clothing, emphasize the fact that you are the go-to source for the latest fashions and styles. With home improvements, emphasize all the things you can do for the customer who only calls you to clean the gutters. With a caterer, make sure your backyard birthday party client knows that you can do black tie affairs or set up a big tent for spectacular gatherings.
The idea here is to develop relationships with your customers. Show them how you can do more for them. Educate them. Make sure they understand the complete range of your services.
Free information is a good selling tool. If not now, at least the seed is planted for the future. It costs you only your time. But it can turn a single sale customer into one who returns again and again, refers others to you, and recommends you on Facebook and Angie's List.
If you have questions on this or another other topic in this blog,
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