After-Marketing: Securing More Sales after the Sale
by Jeff Davidson
I define after marketing as “the final part of the marketing process which involves ensuring complete customer or client satisfaction, and undertaking those activities that keep one’s business, products or services in the forefront of the minds of those served.”
Building Towards More
Some sales professionals regard an effective after marketing program as too costly or contrary to a healthy bottom line. Yet, just the reverse is true. A variety of businesses and institutions are finding that an effective after marketing program does much more than help to stay in the forefront of customers’ minds. It helps to build sales.
You’ve worked hard developing your reputation. You’ve built a strong customer or client base. But now is not the time to relax. Instituted in a proper and timely manner, after marketing will enable you to easily and continuously remain at the forefront of those to whom you sell. There are numerous steps for making sure that your after marketing is as strong as your marketing. Here are some of the most popular:
Place greater emphasis on support staff – The people who follow up the sale should be trained to represent the company as well as the people who first made the sale. All buyers want confirmation that their purchase decision was a good one. All customers appreciate knowing that you care about them as much after the sale as you did before.
Generous Distribution of Customer Survey Forms – Don’t be afraid to continuously solicit the input and advice of your customers through various report forms. Virtually any business or professional service can benefit from the input of the people it serves.
Maintaining Your Word – An old maxim in the consulting profession goes “Only promise what you can deliver and always deliver more than you promise.” Your sales staff and staff assistants must treat what they say to the customer as if it was written in parchment. Nothing will keep you in the forefront of the customers mind more than efficiently meeting promised shipping dates, responding to requests for information, and acting like “your word is your bond.”
Anticipating Customer Needs – What is the life cycle of the product you sell or the service you render? After customers buy once, what else is necessary for their continued satisfaction? What additional products or services will enhance the value of their original purchase? What follow up information, maintenance suggestions, or instructions can be sent periodically to provide a valuable service and keep you in the forefront of their minds? What else does they customer need?
* Service call?
* Follow up instructions?
* Extra set of instructions?
* New supporting product?
* New supporting services?
* 60/90/120 day maintenance reminder?
* Personal letter from CEO?
* Newsletter or zine telling how others use it?
* 3 month follow up survey?
* Upgrades, enhancements?
* Important notices, warnings?
* Trends, new developments?
Any of the above items makes for an excellent reason to get in touch again with customers. This serves a two-fold purpose:
1) to truly serve them, and
2) to stay in the forefront of their minds.