The Importance of Following Up with Customers and Prospects
The majority of architectural window film sales are started over the phone and then followed up in the prospects home or place of business. Many times a successful phone presentation will lead to an appointment with the perspective customer. The telephone will generally be the first contact the perspective customer will have with your business. Therefore proper telephone etiquette is an essential part of your plan for success.
The telephone voice is usually the first impression someone will have of your business. Speaking with style will enable you to successfully convey your message to a perspective customer over the phone and increase sales.
The follow up is an extremely important part of the sales process and will help you build good customer relationships.
You want your customer satisfied with the service you have provided. Keeping in contact with them can build a long term relationship, providing you with referrals and future sales. There are many ways to accomplish this.
A good start is to create a database of all your customers. That way you have created a valuable contact list for future specials or new products that you may offer. Shortly after completing a sale, send the customer a “thank you” card or an email and perhaps a customer survey. There are now a number of affordable online survey tools that you can utilize. This action lets the customer know, one, you appreciate their business, and, two, you care about them and want them satisfied with the service and value you provided them. If you have a satisfied customer, ask them if they could write a letter of recommendation and use this to entice other prospects in your sales presentations.
A simple phone call a few days after installing window film to ask if their film has dried and cured properly expresses to them your honesty and sincerity. You can go a step further and include a “walk through inspection” a few weeks after the installation to inspect and ensure proper curing and dry out. This creates a follow-up interaction. If you decide to add such a follow-up activity to your installation process, make mention of this benefit in you close as such follow-up activity adds valve to your offered service.
Do not be afraid to turn a negative into a positive. If a customer contacts you with a warranty issue or installation concern, take care of it in a professional, friendly and helpful way. A customer often values a business by how they handle a situation. Many times taking care of a situation favorably for the customer can create a loyal, referring advocate for your business.
It is also important to follow-up with customers whom you didn’t close. There is always room for improvement. Finding out the reason a prospect didn’t purchase from you can help you improve your overall sales approach. Be objective and self-evaluating. Addressing mistakes can lead you to increasing your sales.
Keep in touch with periodic mail outs. This keeps your name in their minds and builds referrals. If your customer likes the benefits of window film on their home, perhaps they would be interested in window film on their place of business, auto, RV or vacation home. Remember glass is everywhere and if you offer such service you may create a repeat customer.
Prospects referred to your business by past satisfied customers are great prospects as they are coming to you based on a past quality relationship, price usually is not the driver in these situations. Your chances of closing these referred leads are extremely high. Every sale you make has a cost to it. By properly creating a follow-up procedure with customers, you are creating future customers with a very low cost of sale.
How many times have you run a costly advertisement and received zero sales? Turn your satisfied customer into an advocate for your business. You will find that the cost of these follow up actions are far less than that of chancy, unproven advertising. If you have a contact or past customer and they refer multiple prospects to you that generate sales, your cost of sale diminishes greatly. You can always show gratitude to customers who refer you prospects by offering future discounts, gift certificates, or other so called “spiffs.” A simple “thank you” card is a good start.