Do you have any "friends" who call only when they want something? Are they your favorite people? Do you contact customers only when you're asking for their money? Or do you keep in touch for other reasons? Do salespeople call on you only when they want you to spend money? What if, instead, they called you with a lead, a referral, or an idea? Wouldn't that make you think you were more than just a customer? That they cared about you and your business?
In yesterday's world, we celebrated closing a sale. Today, we celebrate opening a relationship. That's how a business is built. One of the goals in growing your business should be that the same person you sold to today will still be spending money with you ten years from now. People want to do business with people who appreciate them and look out for their interests. Be appropriately generous with your ideas and time.
If you want to be perceived as an irreplaceable unpaid advisor by your customers, phone them now and then, saying something like, "Hey, I've got an idea that might work for you." Or, "I've got a potential customer for you" or "Here's something that might help your business." Absolutely no strings and no expectation of an order.
It pays not to take all the money on the table. Always give your customers more than they pay for. HOMEWORK: What can you do to make yourself an unpaid advisor so you become invaluable to your customers and guarantee their loyalty?
Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE is a San Francisco-based professional speaker on Change, Teamwork, Customer Service, Promoting Business, and Communication Skills. To learn more about Patricia, as well as save 20% when you order her audio/video programs Million Dollar Words: Speaking for Results, Preparing and Presenting Powerful Programs and/or Confessions of an Unashamed, Relentless Self-Promoter, go to YourSuccessStore.com.