The art of winning customers through follow-upsNikita Mahipal
Most companies today try to win customers by making them believe that they are the ‘king’. But look around and tell me, how many of them actually practise this golden rule?
Imagine a situation where your company’s sales representative promised to call a customer back on the possibility of a product demo at his office within two days but never really did so. Do you think the customer would believe your organisation anymore? Would they consider having the demo if the sales rep called back after a week proposing a fresh appointment?
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Chances are, no! Customers are smart enough to understand who is interested only in a regular business transaction and who actually wants to retain their interest and loyalty for a long-term relationship. For a business to have successful sales, it is important to follow up with the customers not just regularly but also smartly.
Stick to your commitment
If a customer is busy and asks you to call back in an hour’s time, make sure you do call back in an hour and check if they are willing to hear you out. This not only shows your commitment but also your company’s interest in gaining the time and attention of the customer. You may even choose to get back to them the next day and they might even answer your call. But trust me, you would have already lost their respect for not meeting deadlines.
Prepare well for the follow-up call
It is as important to prepare well for the follow-up call as it is for a fresh sales call. A boring, scripted ‘Madam, have you thought about booking our pest control services?’ will immediately put off the customer and cost you a good deal. Instead, look at providing quality assistance to them and adding value to your offerings. You could say ‘Since temperatures have risen over the last week, it will soon be time to use the AC at home. We provide AC maintenance and repair services as well, if you wish to avail them. In fact, you can make a combo package of both these services and avail a 20 percent discount on the total price.’ This way, you will have not only doubled the sale but also won the customer’s confidence through the value addition provided.
Perseverance is the key
A potential customer may not be keen to buy your product in one go. Sales reps are required to follow up with enough persistence to get the customers’ time and attention. There should be a healthy mix of emails, calls, and direct marketing efforts to convert a sale, ensuring at the same time that the customer does not feel spammed and irritated with these. The sales reps must be trained well to be able to understand the customers’ needs and respond accordingly with appropriate follow-ups.
Consequences of not training the sales team
Sales teams represent your organisation to the new, existing, and potential customers and carry the responsibility of exhibiting a reputable image of the company to them. If they are not trained to handle customers properly, or pitch smartly, or do intelligent follow-ups with them, the business may suffer heavy losses both in terms of revenues and reputation among the customers. Regular training sessions and quality control checks of the sales team help nurture long-lasting relationships with the customers and build a successful organisation.
A famous quote by Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart, aptly sums up the importance of building solid customer relations: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”