Delivering the Goods: Successfully following up on a sale
Step 5 Time to Wow
This is the fifth step in our continuing series on Lifecycle Marketing. Previously we focused on ways you can convert lead into sales.
As anyone who’s been in business for any length of time knows, making a sale is only the first part of the equation. How you follow-up can go a long way in determining whether you’ve made a short-term sale or created a loyal customer that will stay with you for the long-haul.
At a minimum, your product should meet their expectations and be delivered in a timely manner. A well planned follow up after the sale can help you go beyond those expectations and truly ‘wow’them.
A follow-up doesn’t have to be just an email or a phone call. You can use all the channels at your disposal to reinforce all the points you’ve made during the build-up to the sale and continue to build trust.
This is the fourth step in our continuing series on Lifecycle Marketing. In our last step, we examined ways to nurture the sales leads you’ve generated.
At some point in time, many of us have had a frustrating experience when we try to order something. From complicated menus to badly organized sales sheets, some companies almost seem to fight you through the ordering process.
You want to give them money, why do they have to make it so difficult?
Don’t be one of those companies. If you’ve gone through all the trouble of finding and nurturing potential customers, the last thing you want to do is make it difficult for them to buy what you’re selling. You want purchasing products and services from you to be a pleasant, seamless and most importantly easy process.
This is the third in an eight-step series about lifecycle marketing. Previously, we looked at how to attract traffic to your website and the various tools you can use to generate valuable sales leads.
Now that you have the attention of your potential customers, it’s time to nurture them towards a sale.
It’s all about following up on potential leads. Since everyone is different, there are as many possible ways to follow up a lead as there are customers. There are no limits to your creativity here. That’s why it’s so important to not only generate leads, but to generate quality leads. The more you know about a potential customer, the more you can tailor your follow-up efforts to their situation.
This is the second of an 8-Step series on Lifecycle Marketing
In the first part, we looked at how you can drive traffic to your site. Now that you have their attention, it’s the perfect time to gain some valuable information on potential new customers and draw them a little closer to your circle. At first it might seem tacky to ask for information when delivering up a piece of content, but it really isn’t when you do it right.
Instead of thinking of it like demanding a price for your content, think of it as an opportunity for a potential customer to learn more about you and gain greater access to the content they liked. For example, if they liked your cake recipe, why not have them sign up for your baking company’s newsletter where they can receive several more recipes every month? Since they already have a positive attitude towards your product, you can nurture them towards a sale.
This is the first of an 8 part series on Lifestyle Marketing.
With a little patience and technical know-how, it’s fairly easy to build a website. The Internet is full of handy guides on it. If you don’t have the time to learn, the Internet is also full of people and companies eager to do the work for you. But now that you’ve gone to the trouble of building your site, is it doing what it needs to do to bring traffic in, or it is just sitting there in a sea of similar sites?
You need a reason for people to come to your site.
Marketing expert Andrew Davis believes he has a way to do just that. By creating valuable content on your site, you establish a brand and you can use that brand to sell your products. He cites Sesame Street and Disney as examples. By creating memorable stories and engaging characters such as Mickey Mouse and Elmo, both companies were able to leverage their content to sell millions of dollars in products.
You’ve worked hard to make your business successful. You know you have quality products and services and competitive prices. You know you have customers out there that want what you have to offer. The problem sometimes is finding them . The Internet is a big place, and you’re just one firefly in the night.
Lifecycle Marketing might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a simple process with a simple goal: bringing customers in, ‘wowing’them and then letting positive word of mouth some advertising for you. Any customer is good, a happy customer is even better. But the best customer is the one who's telling his friends how great you are.
In our 8 part series on Lifecycle marketing, we’ll be looking at what it takes to attract customers. We’ll examine some of the new ways businesses are attracting leads, and the steps you can take to follow up on them. Later on, we’ll talk about ways to make your site more user-friendly by adding E-commerce tools and an effective lead management strategy, enabling you to convert site visitors into sales.
Twenty percent of your customers produce 80 percent of your sales. Named the Pareto Principle after Vilfredo Pareto, this concept is a simple yet powerful idea that can save you time, money and dramatically grow your business if used properly. Pareto, an Italian economist, noticed in 1906 that 80 percent of the land was owned by 20 percent of the population.
The interesting thing about this principle, or the ’80-20 rule’, is that it occurs with astonishing frequency in other situations. Twenty percent of your time will yield 80 percent of your results. Twenty percent of your products will create 80 percent of your revenue. The list goes on and on.
From a marketing standpoint, the applications are obvious. If 20 percent of the advertising efforts produce 80 percent of the results, then your marketing needs to focus on that 20 percent. If 20 percent of your webpages generate 80 percent of your traffic, then you need to highlight those pages to make them easier to find.
When it comes to customers, how do you zero in on your best customers, and more importantly, how do you find more like them? Using the ’80-20’rule allows you to develop more targeted marketing and more effective follow-ups so you can nurture sales.
In an age of faceless internet transactions and computerized phone menus, is looking your customer in the eye before offering an old fashioned handshake a dying art? Some customers would argue it’s no longer needed, while others wish for the days when an old school touch was not only offered but expected.
Your customers come in both varieties, so how do you keep them coming back?
At a minimum you’ll need a quality product that meets their needs at an affordable price, but that is just the beginning.
Despite the demands of modern life, many old school touches are still quite effective. Your customers want to feel valued, they want to be catered to and they want doing business with you to be quick and convenient.
As with fine food, presentation is critical. It doesn’t matter how delicious the meal is if the food is haphazardly slopped onto the plate and slapped down in front of them. Presentation counts, even if your company motto is ‘down home cookin’ or ‘just like Mom used to make’. You’re not Mom, after all. You’re an entrepreneur trying to attract their business.