When was the last time you wanted to purchase office equipment or items for your home, or tried to enlist the help of a professional service provider? What was the service like? Did the person who tried to sell you their product or service do what they promised? Did they even bother to follow up with you? Did they stay in constant contact with you until you signed the cheque and then vanish from the face of the Earth?
The real estate agent
A friend of mine recently sold her house through a local agent. She was happy with his service right up until she paid the $10,000 fee. After that the service deteriorated. She left numerous messages requesting information about moving house and all the associated traumas. For $10,000, do you think it would have been difficult for him to prepare a checklist of what she needs to do?
When she finally spoke to the agent, he bluntly told her, “No, we haven’t got anything like that!” For $10,000, do you think it would have been worthwhile for him to prepare a simple checklist that he could supply to all his clients?
Instead of her being happy and recommending this agent to others, she is infuriated by his “couldn’t care, downright lazy” attitude and will certainly tell many others about it. Such a simple thing can bring a good experience undone and lose potentially thousands of dollars of future business.
The insurance guy
When do you usually hear from your insurance agent? Usually when the premium is due or when your direct debit bounces.
Do you think my business insurance agent could make a note in his diary to ring me (or get one of his assistants to call) to see how my business is going and let me know about other products that could interest me? That would blow me away. Chances are there is some insurance I need but don’t even know I need it!
Do I have any loyalty to this agent? No way – and it doesn’t matter to me how nice a person he is. If someone else in his industry contacts me and can offer a better service (which isn’t hard to do), I wouldn’t think twice about changing.
Systems for success
The ‘sale after the sale’ system
It really is easy to increase business just by following up with the people you have already sold to. For many businesses they just focus on the one-off sale, get themselves busy, busy, busy and never look at the long-term value of a client.
The ‘returning phone calls and responding to email’ system
Make it a habit to return calls and emails within 24 hours. If you’re unavailable, make sure someone else in your office can do it.
People aren’t going to hang around waiting. They’ll take their business elsewhere.
The ‘do what you promise’ system
Every time you say you’ll do something, immediately write it in your diary/electronic organiser on the day you intend to do it. Ensure you check your diary/electronic organiser daily to see what commitments you’ve made and then work your way through the list.
Your credibility will soar in your client’s/prospect’s mind if you follow through. Why? Because most people don’t. Stand out from the crowd, under-promise and over-deliver – not the other way around.
The ‘follow up after the sale’ system
Contact the client a day, a week or a month after the initial sale to see how they’ve benefited, or if there is anything else you can do for them. Were they happy with your service? Who else do they know would also benefit from your products or services?
Marketing experts suggest you re-establish contact with your clients 10 to 12 times a year, otherwise they’re likely to forget all about you and your business.
Perhaps email, fax or post an informative and brief newsletter to them monthly (refer to ‘How to Organise a Killer Newsletter’ on our website at www.office-organiser.com.au).
It’s easy to gain more business without doing more work. The costly part is acquiring a new client or customer. Once you’ve got them, don’t leave them. Nurture them. Build long-term relationships and you’ll be the first person they call when they require your goods and services again.
They’ll also refer you to their friends, family and associates because they know that you’re different… you care.