Because you have a 70% chance of selling to an existing customer, but on average only a 20% chance of selling to a prospective customer.
AND – typically returning customers buy up to 50% more than new customers, so it is cost efficient and effective to focus on repeat sales.
Here are our top tips:
Keep learning and moving forward. Always look for new ways to improve your business and processes. If you stand still you are actually moving backwards in your customers eyes and they will be less likely to buy from you again.
Aim for long term not short-term profit. Do not look to get as much income as possible from your customers first purchase. Make sure you offer good value for money and go the extra mile, even if it minimises profit on that initial sale. People will buy from you again if they trust you and believe that you care about them.
Keep customers informed – develop a relationship with them. Give them relevant information and advice. Always think about what you can do for them.
Offer incentives. This is not just about money, look to see how you can make it easier for a repeat customer to buy from you. Pre-filling forms etc makes customers return again and again.
Make sure a new customer can never get a better price than an existing customer. This is the quickest way to turn an existing customer away.
Keep your standards high – keep your promises, deliver a consistent customer experience and look to delight customers unexpectedly when you can.
Say “thank you”. Simple, but effective – and so many businesses fail to do this!
Say no when necessary. Do not try to sell an existing customer a product or service unless you are sure it is right for them. Rather than try to force the sale, explain why it is not right for them and look to recommend another supplier for that purchase. This helps build trust and customers will return.
Follow up with the customer – make sure they are happy with your product or service, listen to feedback and make changes if needed – make sure you tell them you have changed due to their feedback!
Be proactive – look for things that would be of interest or use to them and share them. Work out when they are likely to need to buy from you again if possible and send them a reminder.
Make sure your after sales support is at least equal to your sales process – and that you keep all the promises you make.
Keep details of your customers. Make sure you have their approval but keep accurate records as well as any other information such as birthdays etc so you can personalise communications.
Make sure you only send information or news that is relevant to them – segment your customer base.
Make special offers available only to existing customers – that is a key way to make them feel special and continue to buy from you.
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