”Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
Whenever a prospect comes into your sphere of influence – into your store, calls you on the phone, requests more information by mail, and whether they buy anything or not – you must latch onto that person like a barnacle on a whale. You think that’s a bad metaphor? Well, maybe it is, but think of this: a barnacle is not a parasite to a whale. They actually help the whale out. It’s what biologists call a “symbiotic relationship.” That’s when two organisms get together and benefit each other. Barnacles help keep the outer skin of the whale smooth and free of harmful build-ups of unwanted algae and other stuff that could harm the whale’s skin and prevent the giant mammal from moving smoothly through the water. The barnacle wins, too, because it likes to eat all that algal build-up on the outer surface of the whale.
This admittedly belaboured example explains the kind of relationship you should develop with your clients, customers and contacts. Latch onto them and never let them go, and let them help you by paying you money as you provide them with products and services that make their lives better.
The key is persistence. Never consider any contact a one-shot deal. When you sell a person once, enter that person’s name in your customer data base and plan for ways to make future sales. Continued contact will pay off in the long run if you persistently pursue them with future offers.
Here’s why you must keep following up:
The Moving Parade – Systemised Customer Relationship Process
People are constantly in a state of change. If they don’t want or need what you have today, it’s very possible that they’ll need it tomorrow, next week, or next month.
So, giving up after only one or two tries or after a week or two will usually mean failure. Sometimes people don’t buy today because maybe they’re short on cash at the moment. But that could be different on another day.
If you catch a person on pay-day, or at the opportune time you may easily make the sale. Remember that people’s needs, wants and situations constantly change, which is a good reason to keep following up.
Going Down the Ladder Of Greater Sales
Keeping up the follow-up means going back to clients with additional offers again, again and again. Let us give you an example to explain what this means:
One company I offers internet based business opportunities. It sends out direct mailings offering a DVD or manual for £50 (actually £49.97) to lists that it rents. Of say a list of 30,000, it will typically get a response of 2%, that’s 600 sales – at £50 – they make £30,000. Now that’s okay but for these numbers and the high cost of acquisition (postage, list rental, mailing piece, fulfilment, warehousing, administration, etc), it’s not fantastic. Sometimes a company may do this as a loss leader – You’ll see why…
Next, they send out a different and bigger offer within four weeks – just to the one’s that bought.
Remember, these are now customers who have already displayed their trust and keen interest by buying the first item.
They’re a qualified customer buying list. Anyway, in this new mailing, they offer a home study course costing £400 (£397). The response rate is higher – 10% – because they are now selling hotdogs to a hungry crowd. That’s 60 sales at £400 – They make £24,000. Less money you say, but the cost of acquisition and fulfilment is much less, and they now have a qualified ‘house list’.
Then, they offer a one day seminar with lots of bonuses and ‘secrets’ on offer for £3,000 (£2,997). They aim this particularly to the ones that bought the £400 item and once again the response is 10%. That’s 6 sales at £3,000. They make £18,000 for much less acquisition cost and big reward. It’s nearly all profit.
It goes without saying that they use many lists to concurrently (and/or repeat) this process.
You may not be offering DVD’s, manuals and courses but you can apply the very same concept to your selling efforts, no matter what you sell. The same formula applies. You make an initial offer to a large group of people, and of course, it helps if that offer is a fantastic deal.
The ones that buy have automatically qualified themselves as potentially hot buyers of even more expensive items. You can keep working those same numbers, going down the ladder, making ever smaller, numbers of sales – but of higher profit items that earn you even better profits than selling a lot of low-priced items to greater numbers of people.