Been hearing a lot of chatter about Customer Loyalty and whether it is as important as some make it out to be. Well, Grasshopper (there I go showing my age again.), yes, customer loyalty is about the¬† most important thing that can happen to you.
If you are not focused upon developing long term customer loyalty – well, I bet you are starting from zero business every month.
Customer loyalty means you have a consistent flow of sales created by these loyal customers who would not and will not buy from anyone but you. And, here is the kicker for that statement – most of the time, when asked why the do business with you, they cannot explain it easily – they just know your are the best for them.
So, if you are going to focus on building and developing customer loyalty, there are about eight points you must master if you want a book of loyal customers.
Here are the Eight Things to Understand when Building Customer Loyalty‚Ä¶
- Customer Specific Value Propositions
The closer the value proposition you use relates to the business issues and concerns your prospects and customers have the faster you will be invited in for a decision with people in the customer’s organization. Someone will relate to your message and then it is your job to move around within the organization meeting key people.
- Finding the Right Match for You
No this is not a dating service statement, however it is close when you have a loyal customer. They are with you for the long run rather than a blind date (think cold calling). Finding the right people means finding the people who are responsible for the areas you can assist and help to improve. Know who the best people and titles are for you to win more accounts.
- Earning Your Loyalty
Look just because you think you are good, you are in a position to earn your loyalty. Use the Questioning Model for B2B Sales rather than a Presentation Model. Stay focused upon the business issues – not your product specifications – and learn more about your customer. Your goal is to know more about your customer than the customer knows about themselves.
- Finding the Right Contacts
Again, you want to get access anywhere you can particularly with large companies, start building relationships and find potential coaches who can guide you through the corporate maze. The more people you have who want you to win, the greater the advantage you will have over the competition.
- Earning their loyalty
This is all about being trustworthy. Doing exactly what you say you will do and within timelines agreed to. Consistency is a critical factor in the trust building phase. Earn the loyalty of your coaches and critical influences to your successful sales process.
- Finding Cost Advantages to Increase Productivity
Now you are being the consultant or business adviser to your customer. You are looking and finding the business reasons for the decision maker to agree to change. Change is the hardest thing to do within a large company as well as any organization which has been very satisfied with their processes for years. Finding measurable data to show projected cost savings or revenue growth is the key to moving the sales process forward. Dig deep and get as much data – think proof – as you can.
- Finding the Real Decision Makers
At some point, you will need to connect to the real decision maker – the executive with the budget approval or power to change a budget for your project. This is the person you will want to win over as the loyal customer. They have the power to keep you in their organizations for a very long time.
- Earning the Decision Makers Loyalty
To effectively do this, you must come back with the “proof” to show the executive you have delivered on your end of the bargain – you performed your part as you promised. Performance is one of the most important keys to continuing and long term success. When you deliver both the numbers you projected plus some extra value they did not expect – you are now part of an exclusive club. By the way, on these reviews of performance always think in terms of a business person¬† – Return on Investment and Pay Back Period.
This list of ways to build customer loyalty are also ways your company can separate itself from the thundering herd of competitors. Just fine tune the list with a couple of modifications and your company will be earning their customer’s loyalty across the board. Share this with your Sales Managers, Sales Executives and other Corporate Executives.