Want customers who buy from you again and again and sing your praises to everyone they know? Who doesn’t? The secret to building your sales and getting repeat customers is building your customer loyalty.
Part one of this series focused on the first three “spokes” on the Sales Cycle “wheel” because they represent the most efficient ways to generate leads in your direct sales business. The other half of the Sales Cycle is focused more on increasing customer loyalty and establishing yourself as a fixture in the buying life of your customers.
How to Build a Loyal Customer Base
#1: Delivery – Think of your own experiences with delivery. Taking a hands-off approach to delivery may seem like an efficient means of dealing with your customers, but if you neglect this spoke on the wheel, you’ll be subject to all kinds of bad-mouthing when something goes wrong.
Delivering your product on time is expected; yet in so many companies, you hear sad tales of chronic back-orders, stop sells, etc. You don’t need to babysit every shipment, but setting up a follow-up system to make sure orders are delivered on time goes a long way toward developing lasting client relationships.
Keep your clients in the know. They will speak highly of you to others, increasing your business, and shoring up their loyalty to you.
#2: Bonuses – Many consultants see giving out bonuses and surprise gifts as an expense. Advertising research shows that it costs five times less to keep an existing client than it does to attract a new one, yet businesses everywhere are pouring money into advertising to attract new leads.
Why not divert some of that money into incentives and bonus gifts for your very best clients? Remember, you’re giving a gift with a higher retail value than what you’ve actually paid for it and only to your top 10 or 20 best customers, who already know you, like you, and trust you enough to keep buying from you.
Loyalty programs and other rewards that encourage customer longevity (repeat buying) will surprise and delight your customers and you’ll be tops on their list the next time they order in the future.
#3: Reciprocity – The act of giving back to your community, clients, and neighbors is your “do-gooder” deed. Donating products to a local shelter, or giving to your church, or volunteering at a soup kitchen. The nature of reciprocity is that it’s not about you; it’s about making a positive impact on your world.
Good deeds get talked about, maybe even reported in the paper and that word spreads. Soon, you have new clients and new business, but you also have something else: a stronger relationship with your existing clients. They feel good about your community-centric actions. It affirms in their mind that they made the right choice in choosing to work with you.
The key to getting your sales rolling is to include all the spokes. Just as a wheel won’t function properly when the spokes are missing, your Sales Cycle needs a fully functional wheel that’s constantly bringing in leads, generating revenue, and increasing loyalty for your business.