Do you want to make a ton of money in sales? Do you want customers to stick with you, give you a chance to meet any offer a competitor makes, and tell all of their friends and business associates to do business with you?
Assuming you answered yes to these questions, here is how you can make these things happen. It’s really quite simple:
- Follow up and follow through.
- When you’re working on a project for a customer, let them know, “Hey, I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m working on it.”
- When a customer asks you to take care of five things, take care of five things, not four things.
- When a customer is using a new product or service, ask them how they like it and what you can do to make it better.
- When a customer has been using a product or service for a long time, ask them the same questions.
- When a customer asks you a question, give them a complete answer, and give them the answer within a day or within an hour if you possibly can.
- When a customer has a problem, don’t relax until the problem has been solved and the customer is happy.
- When a customer sends you a voicemail or email for any reason, respond immediately—if only to let them know you got the message.
Obvious, you say? Common knowledge, you say? Maybe so, but I can tell you from my experience that good follow-up and good follow-through are rare commodities in today’s business world. However, you don’t have to take my word for it. Just think about your experiences and see if this isn’t correct.
How many times do you walk into a store or a restaurant and have to wait to be helped?
How often do you meet with a sales rep, have a positive conversation—and hear from him or her a month later, or perhaps never again?
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How many times are you left steaming because a business problem wasn’t resolved or even addressed?
How often do you have the feeling the salesperson helping you isn’t all that interested in your welfare, but is just going through the motions?
If you show customers you care, and you take care of problems, they will buy from you and stick with you for the long haul. They will even pay more for the privilege of doing business with you—because today, having a conscientious sales representative really is a privilege.
It doesn’t matter how much product knowledge you have, how articulate you are, or how brilliant your technical sales skills are. If you don’t follow up and follow through, you will lose customers and you will fail to get referrals. I’m not saying these other attributes aren’t important, but I am saying without follow-up and follow-through, you won’t get rich, because you’ll never be valuable enough to your customers.
If you follow up and follow through, your customers will want you to succeed. They won’t want to lose you, and they will want to look like heroes for recommending you to friends and business associates. It’s so simple, but so seldom done.
About Brad Shorr
Brad Shorr is Director of B2B Marketing for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency in the Chicago area. With in-house, freelance and agency experience, he writes frequently about content marketing, SEO, social media and small business strategy.