Simple. You do a good job – and then you ask them.
In the last year, I have bought plants from my local garden centre. I had a new bathroom fitted. And then I bought blinds for that shiny new bathroom.
Not one of these companies has EVER asked for my details.
I’ve never heard from them again.
They’re leaving a whole ton of money on the table.
I’d merrily give them my details. They did a great job. I love my bathroom & the blind looks awesome. The apple tree is thriving & the seeds I bought grew into the tastiest, sweetest tomatoes.
In fact, it really annoys me that I HAVEN’T heard from them again.
It would make it SO much easier to buy what I need.
Because we have an en-suite that needs replacing this year. We still don’t have blinds or curtains in the living room. And I’ll grow more veg this year (this gardening malarkey is proving addictive!).
I would LOVE to hear about the latest offers on bathroom suites, or the latest trends in tiles and taps.
I would LOVE to browse through new fabrics for blinds and swoon over thick, heavy curtains to keep our living room cosy.
I would LOVE to know that the new bedding plants have just arrived, or discover the results of their taste tests of potatoes.
I’d buy from those businesses.
Again & again.
They have me. I know, like & trust them. They do a good job.
It would be SO much easier for them to keep selling to me – an existing customer – than to keep finding new customers from scratch, month after month, to keep the cashflow rolling in.
But they don’t even try.
And that’s the power of collecting your customer data.
‘Data’ sounds corporate & big business-y, but it really isn’t.
You’ve done a great job, met your customer’s needs & delivered your product or service.
It’s just about asking for their name & contact details, so you can let them know about more stuff that’ll meet their needs in future.
They can say no – and that’s fine. This isn’t about spamming people or relentlessly flogging stuff to them.
But if your product or service is RELEVANT to them, then it’s of interest. And not unwanted or a nuisance.
- Deliver your product or service. Do the great job you always do.
- Ask them if they’d like you to stay in touch about future products, services and offers that might interest them too. (If needs be, reassure them you won’t sell their details or send them irrelevant stuff).
- Check the best way they’d like to hear from you (collecting their name, address, email & phone is ideal, but anything is better than nothing) – and stick it into a spreadsheet or your CRM system. Keep a list on a sheet of paper if all else fails.
- And then keep your word. Stay in touch.
I promise, this works for ANY business (even yours).
You’ve helped find what they need. They’re now a happy customer. At your till, just say you’d love to stay in touch, to let them know when other stuff comes in that might be interesting. Create a quick form for them to fill in. Make sure ALL of your staff get how important this is.
Create a weekly email, talking about what you do – new baking recipes, or seasonal trends for Autumn, or hints & tips to maintain your car. It is NOT about you but must be interesting & relevant for your customers. Include your special offers. Get them engaged. Just talk to them. Get them to know you, like you & trust you.
And get them coming back to buy more great products from you, more often. Don’t let them turn to Amazon.
Café? Coffee shop? Sandwich bar?
It’s harder when you’re making lots of smaller sales – but entice them to opt-in to hearing from you, in exchange for a free coffee. Start a weekly email, talking about your Sandwich of the Week. Or why your pastrami is so great. Or about your new Lunchtime Meal Deal. Don’t be boring. Use the same content across your social media & blog.
Get them back to buy more great food & drink from you, more often. Get their money in YOUR tills. Not Costa’s.
Plumber? Electrician? Chimney Sweep?
You’ve done a great job – and solved your client’s particular problem. BEFORE you leave, ask their permission to stay in touch. Get their details before you go & knock up a form to record them.
And then do it. Stay in touch.
Send them something every month, with case studies of other people you’ve helped. Show them what other problems you can solve. Introduce them to your new apprentice. Tell them about a special offer for the month ahead.
And when their pipe bursts – or their lights start flickering – or their chimney needs doing again – they’ve heard from you every month. They know, like & trust you.
Make sure it’s YOU they call. Don’t let them go back to Google.
Of course, you’re busy running your business. And this stuff takes time. But it works – and it’s SO worth the effort.
(If we can help you stay in touch with your customers – making it easy for them to buy from you again & again – then just stick your details in below, for a chat. We’re really good at stuff like writing weekly emails. And we’d love to help).
Start small – but just keep in touch with your customers. And you’ll be well ahead of the game already.
Until next time
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