Stop Leaking Your Clients Away
I know the number one reason why your customers don't buy from you again. And it is probably not what you think.
It's not that the project had some challenges, some hiccups (the implementation didn't work out as smooth as you would have liked, but you got it done), and they didn't want to work with you again. It's not that your personality clashed with the main contact at your client's site. It's not that your prices were too high (believe it or not).
Don't get me wrong, all of these reason above play some part why a client won't do business with you but the #1 reason -- drum roll please -- is that they forgot about you.
In the VAR (Value-added Reseller) world we unfortunately are very transaction oriented. We are in pursuit of selling more products. We sell to a client, then move on. Let's face it, our follow-up is not what it should be. I speak to VAR's all the time who tell me they don't have time to do marketing, to send out regular communications to existing clients (such as direct mail, newsletters, emails, etc.). They say they are busy, for goodness sakes!
I know you are, as well, but consider thinking of your clients as being in a sales bucket. But your sales bucket has some leaks. It's not that they don't want to buy from you but they don't hear from you so they don't think of you the next time they need to purchase something. They don't know that you sell security software, they don't know you can help them with outsourcing, they don't know that they can purchase a VOIP solution from you. And so they leak out of your bucket.
Clients need regular communication. They need to know what you are capable of and what you are offering and they need it on a regular, consistent basis.
Otherwise, if you don't communicate to them, the following two things will happen the next time your client wants to purchase something:
-- They answer your competitor's call (you know they *are* calling into your client accounts, right?) and find out, yes, they can get it from another VAR.
-- In the absence of having a clear choice of VAR's, they go to Google and start to research for a solution and someone else they can purchase from.
So, how do you avoid all this from happening? It's simple but can be difficult to implement, considering your already hectic schedule. The answer is to communicate more often. By phone, yes, but you can also set up regular communication such as email, direct mail, or faxes. And setting this up, while a little time-consuming at first, gets easier the more you do it (plus you have companies like my own that can help you).
Bottom line -- don't let them leak out of your sales bucket. Let them know what you are doing, how you are helping other clients, what you are offering, what your capabilities are, etc. Stay fresh in their mind. Capitalize on the relationship you already have with them. Or risk them not buying from you.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!