Orienting Your Sales Strategy for the Long Haul
By Jeff Davidson
Besides the simple fact that they are inclined to keep ordering from you, there are at least ten reasons why a good customer is worth keeping and why it is important to stay in the forefront:
1. A good customer tends to talk about your products or services with other potential customers. Word of mouth advertising is always the most effective form of advertising.
2. Good customers actually help you to run a more profitable operation. They make key suggestions, and offer input and advice that the infrequent customer is not likely to offer.
3. Your advertising and promotional vehicles are more readily noticed by those customers and clients who buy frequently from you. They also tend to react more readily to any product or service that you introduce – often the established customer will be presently surprised and perhaps among the first to purchase.
4. The long term customer or client is more receptive to your suggestions about other products and services. One of the reasons why they may keep buying from you is that they see you as a creditable source and representative of the products and services in your industry.
5. Your incidence of collection problems is lower when you are doing business with long term customers.
6. The profile you draw of those who regularly use your products or services enables you to pinpoint other potential long term customers. If you are popular among one group, chances are you can capture other members of that group.
7. It easier to continue to sell to the same people, and it becomes more rewarding than to continually be doing business with strangers.
8. Steady customers tend to order faster and with more ease than with first timers. The net result for you is greater sales per customer with less time and effort.
9. You can more easily solicit the opinion of long standing customers – even if they stop patronizing your business or if the relationship is upset in some other way.
10. As the needs of your good customers shift, so too, may the needs of other less frequent customers. Your long standing customers can serve as a source of mini-marketing research.