Name: Marie Rodgers
Company: Total Sales Solutions
Marie Rodgers is Founder and Director of Total Sales Solutions. Email Marie with your sales queries and she will answer in following issues of BWS magazine. e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Making a customer, not a sale
You do not fully realise the value of something until you have lost it. In my first sales job (over 20 years ago) I learned a very valuable and, at the time, painful lesson. Once I had secured the order, customers took second place to the other deals I was working on and needed to reach my quarterly sales target. I didn’t focus on developing and maintaining a customer relationship and this led directly to some customers deciding to go elsewhere.
Why did this happen? Quite simply I had spent time building a positive relationship and then didn’t invest any time in maintaining or nurturing our relationship. I hadn’t been loyal to my customers and therefore they (quite rightly) did not feel that they had to be loyal to me. I had expected all of my customers to keep buying from me and when they didn’t, I not only didn’t hit target, I was spending a huge amount of time and energy finding new customers to replace them. I quickly worked out that this was not the way to succeed.
From then on, I understood the true value of a customer and ensured that I focused an equal amount of time on maintaining the relationship as I did at developing it. The results were frankly amazing, I regularly exceeded sales targets and I thoroughly enjoyed my job.
I founded Total Sales Solutions to help businesses achieve growth through sales, but more importantly to implement a sales plan that creates and builds loyal customers and 3 years on, it’s still the cornerstone of the sales success we achieve for our clients.
A happy, valued customer will
- Tell other people how pleased they are with you which may lead to referrals
- See you as a partner and not just a sales person building trust and loyalty
- Because they know and trust you, will buy more easily from you in the future
- Will not entertain your competition as they value the relationship they have with you.
If you have a sales challenge that you would like solved then email or call me directly or you can post your question on the BWS website and I will be happy to help.
Tips to achieving loyal customers
- Clearly define the type of relationship you want with your customers
- Don’t make assumptions about what you think they want, be objective…even better, ask your customers!
- Increasing the quality of relationship with your customers increases your value to them and creates a barrier to your competitors
- Finally it’s 5 times easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one