Today, I see sales people working really hard yet, missing the point of keeping customers for the long term. Long term customers are usually the most profitable and most fun to work with due to the confidence and shared respect with the main players in the relationship.
However, how do you get those long term customer relationships? It is something that goes higher than low price. It is more than a cleaver marketing idea.
It deals with the ability to connect to another human being in such a way, they like and respect you AND have a desire for interdependency with you and your company. This is ultimate in trust. And, as you know Trust must be earned.
So, here are sixteen performance tips to gain more long term customer relationships…
16 Performance Tips for Long Term Customer Relationships
- Be Accessible – With the cell phone and smart phones today – this should be simple and easy.
- Be a Helpful Resource – Share contacts and information with your customers. Help them whenever you can.
- Guarantee Your Work / Product – If you can – always offer a guarantee to allow the customer to feel safe.
- Make Buying Fun – Most sales people miss this point, fun makes it a repeatable exercise.
- Keep in Touch – Touching your customers with emails, calls, visits and information allows for top of mind awareness.
- Keep Your Promises – Whenever you promise something, make certain it happens. This builds trust.
- Make Positive Changes – Keep up to date and avoid the status quo comfort zone.
- Surprise Your Customer – With personal cards for birthdays and anniversaries. Make it personal with the business.
- Personalize Emails and Letters – Beware of the cold efficiency of form letters and templates. Use nicknames.
- Hold a Customer Appreciation Day – Show Your Customer how important they are with a day of showing thanks.
- Be Gracious and Grateful – Show your gratitude for their business and say “Thank You” often.
- Make Buying Simple – Complex systems and methods will grow old. Make it simple and easy to buy from you.
- Pay Attention – This means listen to your customer, follow up with requests, answer their questions, and show respect.
- Differentiate Yourself – Be unique in the marketplace. Draw attention to your advantages. Point out your Unique Selling Advantage.
- Respond Quickly – Customers judge you upon how fast you respond to their messages or emails. A sense of urgency will win more often than not.
- Add Value – Whenever you can, add value to both what you sell and the relationship you have with a customer. Extras are viewed as value added by most customers.
There you have 16 performance tips for getting and keeping long term customer relationships. My advice is to rate yourself on each of the sixteen tips. Then pick one of the lower rated tips and work on improving it – make it a strength rather than a weakness. Watch your results as you improve in one area. Measure the results and retention of customers over time as you improve each of the sixteen areas. Your sales success will improve.