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Getting your customers to sell you… Creating fans and champions
by Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

 


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A "Secret" note for Business Owners and Sales Managers

Getting your customers to sell you… Creating fans and champions

by Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey

Over the years I have discovered, quite by accident, that my best investment in building my sales and business was in taking very good care of my existing customers. When they are happy, and more than satisfied with my products or service, they will talk about me to their friends and colleagues. Some will even go the extra mile to becoming fans or champions and firmly telling their friends and colleagues that they ‘must’ deal with me if they want the best value or service. Wow!

Go the extra mile – inspired action to separate yourself from your competition

One of the most effective activities in building loyalty and turning customers into repeat buyers, raving fans and champions of your service or business is to go the extra mile. By this I mean, doing more than would be normal to help them achieve the success or satisfaction they wanted.

  • Have you ever experienced having someone going way past what would normally be included in your purchase?
  • Did it catch your attention and make you take notice?
  • How can you do this with your customers?

Do the unexpected – truly amaze them

Companies have the opportunity to build amazing relationships and repeat business. Yet, so few are successful.

  • How many times have you been positively surprised in dealing with a sales person or company?
  • They gave you more than you expected, or did something you thought would be an extra?
  • How did you feel?
  • How can you do that in your business?
  • Are there some small value added areas or ‘extras’ that you can incorporate into your service or product mix?
  • How about including some items that other competitors charge extra for, or don’t offer at all?
  • Do you think that would help to create a positive experience in the minds of your clients?

Point to Ponder:

"Real excellence does not come cheaply. A certain price must be paid in terms of practice, patience, and persistence - natural ability not withstanding." Stephen Covey

  • Follow up for complete satisfaction – part of the sales process

One of the areas for growth in providing real value-added service is in the follow-up or follow-through. How frequently have you had someone you’d dealt with call you a while later to see how you like your purchase and checking to see how it’s working? Sadly, too many sales people miss a great opportunity to build profitable long-term relationships, by simply following up.

Customer service is pro-active and deals with the little ‘adjustments’ before they become major irritants. I think we’re too scared of the possibility of hearing negative comments, or having to go out to fix something. How sad!

The very thing that can turn customers into loyal fans and we’re afraid to do it. Many of the most successful companies have a 100% complete satisfaction – whatever it takes policy. Do you? How will you incorporate this area of customer service into your process?

Keep in touch – top of mind means additional sales and business

On a parallel path, how many companies can you think of that have taken the time to keep in touch with you after you’ve finished paying for the service or product? Sadly again, very few!

Part of building a positive relationship and turning customers into loyal fans and enthusiastic champions can be simply taking a positive step to keep in contact. How can you build in a easily maintained system to allow you to track your customers? How will you find ways to keep in touch? What commitment will you make to ensure it gets done?

Challenge:

Take a moment and think of some other ways that will help you build those relationships that turn your customers into repeat buyers, fans, and champions.

Are there any opportunities you’ve missed to establish this mutually beneficial type of customer relationship?

It is never too late to do what is right and to ask for a second chance. Keep in mind the potential life time value potential of your customers.


© Copyright 2007 Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey www.ideaman.net All rights Reserved. Used with permission of the author.

Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey is a productivity strategist and creativity catalyst who regularly writes for North American Consumer and Trade Journals, on-line magazines and company intranets. He is the author of 10 books, including 2 on sales, and the 48th person in the history of Toastmasters International to earn their coveted professional level Accredited Speaker designation. He is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Visit his website for additional articles like this one: www.eBusinessSuccess.biz

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