By: Doug Rooker, National Sales Director, Purchasing Power
When was the last time you wrote a hand-written thank you letter to a current customer? I’m amazed at how many salespeople assume that once a prospect decides to do business with you, no further encouragement is necessary to make the prospect a lifelong customer. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, invest five minutes, a piece of letterhead, an envelope and a stamp, and make a lasting, positive impression.
And what if they were your customer, but have fallen off your current customer base? They are probably still a highly-qualified prospect. This person deserves your attention even more: keep in touch. Help clients to keep you in mind. Especially if a significant amount of time has passed – no matter if it’s a few months or a few years, past clients will often come to a point where they need your product or service again, but don’t remember how to get back in touch with you! It’s incumbent upon you to remind them that you and your company are still out there delivering excellent results with terrific products and services. Don’t pester them to death, but do give past clients all the facts they need to work with you again.
Research shows that most salespeople have a one-in-two chance to get business from an existing account, and a one-in-four chance to get business from an old account. However, when you are prospecting for new clients, the odds drop to a staggering one-in-twenty chance!
A couple of last tips…this approach doesn’t need to be intrusive or a hard sell. Nor should it be the rapid tempo you bring to your prospecting work. Remember you already have a relationship with this person… you just need to gently remind them. Keep it light, friendly and don’t rush things. If they aren’t ready to purchase something now, they just might be in a month or two.