Barbara and I were ruminating about the old days. You know the ones. Where the Chef in a restaurant came out and greeted the diners and asked if you’d enjoyed the meal. And if you’ve never experienced this, maybe I’m showing my age How about the pre 9/11 days when airline pilots actually walked through the cabins and greeted the passengers. And if you were bold enough, young enough, or lucky enough, you got to go up front and sit in the cockpit.
Boy, try doing that now! And of course, if you’re on a cruise ship, it’s still an honor to get invited to sit at the Captain’s table, isn’t it? So what is it about all these events that so engages us? It all comes down to “recognition”. We all want to feel important and what better way than for the person “in charge” to come and “recognize” us and thank us for our patronage. Notice that none of these are necessarily overt thank you’s. They’re more an acknowledgment that we’re important to the person we’re giving our business to.
I was listening to a CD from Dan Kennedy. For those of you who’ve never heard of him, he’s an extremely well paid direct marketing consultant, who’s been in the game for donkey’s years. On this CD he stated that surveys have shown that 68% of customers who leave, do so due to indifference on the part of the supplier. In other words, if you don’t care about your customers, take them for granted and never communicate with them, look out. They will more than likely leave and go to one of your competitors. Of course, the irony is that your competitor is probably unlikely to look after them any better after the honeymoon period, so they’ll leave him and find someone else. Maybe they’ll even come back to you after a few hops! But think of the money you’re losing while all this happens. You could have been selling to this person all this time, making more profits.
Instead, what’s likely is that you’ve gone out looking for new customers, (at significant acquisition costs) and started the whole cycle again. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? So what’s the solution? You need to look after your customers, FOR LIFE. You need to be in constant communication with them. Tell them all the other things you can do for them.
Here’s a true story…
A chap walks into his local printer and proudly shows him the new 24 page, glossy full color catalog he’s had printed. The printer had been doing this chap’s business cards and letterhead for years and was really surprised that chap hadn’t thought of giving him the catalog business. Well, the chap didn’t know that the printer could do this work (the printer had never thought of telling him all the other products and services he offered), so missed out on over $ 500,000 worth of printing a year! Instead he just did the letterhead and business cards, worth about $ 5,000 a year! How would you feel if you were the printer?
Here’s the kicker. Could this be happening to you? How well have you communicated with your clients all the other things you could do for them? Remember, your clients aren’t mind readers. They have their own day to day stuff to deal with and they’re not thinking about you all the time. So it’s up to you to keep in front of them – CONSTANTLY. Remember the 90 day rule. Keep in touch at least once every 90 days. It can be by phone, letter, postcard or even voice broadcast. In the spirit of the Nike slogan – JUST DO IT!
Rashid Kotwal is an international speaker and author who specializes in on-line and off-line strategies for direct response marketing and sales optimization. He works with sales organizations want to get more business, faster and with less wasted effort. You can find more information at http://revealedresources.com and http://getclientsonlinefast.com Copyright Rashid Kotwal.