Closing an important sale is cause for reflecting on a job well done. Yet it’s important to realize that the first sale is often merely a prelude to something far more valuable — an ongoing, profitable, long-term business relationship.
So how do business owners get from here to there? What’s the best way to maintain relationships after closing a sale?
Let’s review some tips to help you cultivate mutually beneficial, longstanding relationships with clients.
Make a concerted effort to remain connected.
Many salespeople, real estate agents or business owners make at least a perfunctory effort to remain engaged with clients post-sale. After all, connecting with customers after a transaction concludes generally costs very little in time and money.
Yet surface-level follow-up engagement with clients doesn’t really move the needle. If you want to earn true loyalty and repeat business, you need to do more than simply add people to a list. Reach out periodically to clients in an unobtrusive manner to see how they’re doing. It’s also a good idea to target your approach to each demographic. While older clients probably won’t mind a phone call, younger clients prefer digital communication. The key is to walk a fine line between “friendly and interested” and “overbearing and salesy.”
Harness the power of social media platforms.
Social media has utterly revolutionized how businesses maintain client relationships. Connecting with someone on Facebook or Instagram or getting them to follow you on Twitter gives you an invaluable, no-cost tool for deepening customer engagement.
Most people don’t like out-of-nowhere sales calls — even if you have a history. Used correctly, social media helps overcome this hurdle by allowing you to maintain an ongoing, frictionless relationship with past clients. They can monitor what you have to offer in their own time, while you can deepen and personalize the relationship by pursuing the occasional online interaction with your clients.
Provide clients with valuable information.
While most people aren’t a fan of random sales calls, they typically won’t mind if you’re bearing information they can put to good use. Perhaps you’re running a special promotion for past customers; maybe you’re a real estate agent offering new information about home prices in the neighborhood.
The key is bringing something useful to the table. If you can do this successfully, clients will regard your outreach efforts as valuable, and continue to maintain interest in the relationship. Bombard them with run of the mill marketing materials, however, and they’ll quickly tire of your efforts at engagement.
Find an appropriate software solution.
If your business is simply too large to offer highly-individualized follow up, consider investing in an appropriate customer relationship management (CRM) software product.
These solutions are invaluable tools for helping businesses track and manage large sets of customer data. They can also be helpful when it comes time to launch your next marketing campaign.
Closing a sale is certainly an event to celebrate, but building a long-term business relationship is far more valuable. By following the steps listed above, you can start building mutually-profitable relationships that will endure.
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