Once you’ve closed the sale, the job is just beginning.
Staying in touch with customers is as important as getting them in the first place ~Jack Canfield
We think that the job is done when we close the sale. The reality? The job is just starting. Before the sale, the person is a prospect. After the sale? They’re a customer. And what brings customers back for repeat business, what makes customers tell all their friends, colleagues and family how great we are? Yes, that’s called customer service. Good customer service is the beginning of a long relationship.
It’s not that hard to close the sale and move on.
In fact, when you think about it, skipping out the back door after the deed is done is a lot like failing to follow up on a pre-sale lead. It’s rude, it’s expensive (for you) and it leaves a whole bunch of money on the table.
The new norm in business is to let a business transaction become the segue into a relationship – when customers become friends. Just knowing that opens the doors to so many opportunities for staying in touch. So let’s talk about those opportunities.
There are so many ways of saying thank you after the sale is closed.
There’s the tried-and-true method of sending a Thank You note, followed up by the ‘is everything going well/any questions’ phone call. That’s the minimum. Then there are all the social media opportunities to recommend, review, tag and otherwise shout out. We all love to see our name in lights.
But wait, I said ‘ongoing relationship’ – yes, more that a few touches immediately post sale. Your business plan should include a post-service ‘touch plan’ that establishes how often your customer will hear from you (every 6 weeks? 3 times a year? Twice a year? ) and the kind of touch they will most appreciate. For example, if they own a business, you may introduce them to a great networking opportunity, for example a breakfast hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce. If they’re a gardener, let them know about plant swaps, or gardening shows (unless, of course that’s why you met in the first place, because you own a gardening store). How about a sports fan – surprise them with tickets to a local game. Even if you can’t afford something at the national level, there are always junior and minor league events.
Last year I was invited to a demonstration polo match by a colleague of mine – do you think I’ll ever fail to mention her business in places where it counts – NO – a resounding ‘no’, in fact. I’m still talking about it.
You see what I mean.
There are so many opportunities when you put your mind to it, to turn a happy client into a raving fan…
and then into a Centre of Influence (or multiplier) that if you walk away after the sale, you will have missed the main opportunity. And then there’s this … never overlook the importance of friendship. As I said at the beginning, sales are easy, let me add that friends are like gold.
Now get out there and build those lifelong relationships. The sale is complete – the journey is just beginning.
Angela Sutcliffe is one S.O.B. (Smart Old Broad). She’s been in business for over 30 years, most of that time advising small business owners and sales professionals on tried-and-true business processes that stand the test of time.
Angela is the founder and principal consultant at Angela Sutcliffe Business Consulting where she works 1:1 with clients looking for exponential growth in their business… or just a way out of their current disorganization.
Angela is a teacher, trainer, writer and speaker with an expertise in small business and leadership. She offers workshops, webinars, and groups. She speaks to associations, organizations and companies about strategies to take them to the next level, and leadership mindset.
When it comes to business that works, you just can’t beat experience. Contact Angela