“It costs five times more money to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one,” says professional speaker Michael A. Aun. “So why would you ignore your existing customers? They are critical to building your business both vertically and horizontally. Cultivate long-term relationships and you will cultivate trust.”
Aun says leading with value cultivates trust. Find out what prospects value by asking probing questions. In the financial services industry, as in almost any industry, the quality of service is one of the few variables that can add value and distinguish a business from its competitors.
“It comes down to this point: You are the singular thing in this scenario that your competition cannot duplicate,” says Aun. “If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself or your service to your customers, then what difference does it make who they buy from? Create uniqueness in your approach by offering value.”
Offering value means going out of your way to help your customers solve a problem. Even if it won’t help you sell more products initially, it will in the long run.
Once you’ve gained customers’ trust, stay in touch. “Up to 90% of dissatisfied customers will not buy from you again and they won’t bother to tell you why,” adds Aun. The biggest reason, he says, is the lack of ongoing contact.
Aun’s advice: Stay in touch throughout the year by sending something every month to prospects and customers – birthday cards, New Years cards and, yes, even Happy Tax Day cards. Another idea is to email customers important reminders or links that might interest them. Be careful not to bombard them with information, he cautions, adding that the idea is to stay top of mind, not to be a nuisance. “They might not need you in January, but when they get that card in April they might just give you a call,” says Aun.
So what’s the bottom line? “A good sale is good service,” adds Aun. “Penetrate your accounts vertically by keeping relationships ongoing with mailings, phone calls and emails. Stay in touch with non-sales visits designed to build good will and value with your customers.”
60 Seconds: Do a periodic review of your clients’ situations as a way of remaining in contact with them. They’ll appreciate the time and you’ll stay on top of their needs