Successful salespeople know how to develop solid relationships with the right customers. They know that the best customers are repeat customers that will provide a long-term financial commitment to their company.
Not only will they keep coming back to buy your product, or sign a long-term contract, but they will also be your best advocates to generate new business.
You want a long-term, committed relationship. You want a customer to say “I do”. You want a customer for life.
Here’s how sales reps can help create life-long customers:
1. Focus on the Right Prospects
Don’t try to convince someone they are a good fit for your product or service if they aren’t. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, so you need to know when to drop the wrong opportunities so you can focus on the right ones. Figure out early on if you are selling something that can be beneficial to this particular person or company. If not, they may not be a good prospect for life.
2. Don’t Rush the Sales Process
Gaining a customer for life sometimes takes patience. You can’t always have your foot on the gas if you want to cultivate something special. As the saying goes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re not aligned on timing or budget, but you know they are a good fit, then take it slow and work with them until the time or money is right. Keep building rapport and know when to push your customer, but not rush them. If the fit is right, they could become a customer for life.
3. Get Everyone Involved
Creating life-long customers should be a priority for the entire company. If your potential client has questions you can’t answer, pull in people from other departments on the sales call to help move the deal along. Make sure your customer feels like they aren’t just receiving a pre-recorded sales pitch, but you are listening to their questions and answering them thoughtfully.
4. Follow-up After the Sale
If you are a SaaS company, selling a service, make sure your customer is onboarded and fully trained in a timely manner. Chances are you have a customer success team that handles new customer training, but that doesn’t mean your relationship with the customer should end after you close the deal. Follow-up with that customer a few months after their subscription started just to check in. If you are selling a product, follow-up after it shipped to ensure they received their items.
5. Keep Consistent With Customer Point of Contact
Nobody likes repeating themselves. If a customer starts a relationship with a sales rep, that rep should continue on as the primary contact for any subscription renewals, new orders, and upgrades. Don’t pass off the customer from one person to the next. If for some reason your accounts are getting shuffled around, take time to send a quick email introduction to their new rep.
6. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
You should always be thinking about the customer experience in all you do. Every department in your company needs to cohesively work together to achieve this, but it’s very important to have the customer journey on the top of your mind. From their very first interaction with your company, how do you present yourself to the customer? Make sure your marketing materials and sales pitch align with the product and service you are actually selling. Be customer centric and you’ll get a customer for life.
7. Tell Them Only What They Want to Hear
Don’t bombard your customers with every piece of information you produce. Only communicate to your customers on things they are interested in, or your messages will just sound like noise. It’s good protocol to have a system set up to segment your customers based on their interests. Tell them what they want to hear, not what you want them to hear. Send them emails about features and functions they are pertinent to their specific role. Your customers will appreciated the tailored messages and tune you in, instead of tuning you out.
8. Ask Them for a Referral
People like being useful and helpful. If your customer is happy with your service, ask them to write a review about your company, or refer your service to others. Customers may be flattered that you think of them as an important customer and trust them to give you a review.
9. Thank Them
You can never say thank you too often. Make sure to not have every email communication you send be a sales pitch. Try sending them a thank you email every so often, just reminding them how much you appreciate their business. And don’t wait until the holidays to send a message of good will – every time you reach out be sure to include a quick sentence of thanks.
10. Don’t Forget about Them
One sure way to lose a customer is forgetting to follow-up. Invest in an AI-Powered CRM that will automatically remind you of who to call, and when to call. You may have a great prospect on your hands, but if you fail to call when you say you will, you will lose them for sure. Spiro is a CRM that keeps you on top of all your opportunities and proactively suggests the best next steps to keep the deal moving along.
Also published on Medium.