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By: GUEST AUTHOR, Pat Egen, Patricia Egen Consulting LLC
As we’re now in the last quarter of the year, it's a good time to take a look at revenues to see how your company is doing. Are you making your sales goals? Are sales leveling off? It's also a good time to initiate end of year sales drives. Many companies strive to get new customers as a way to increase sales and drive up revenue numbers, however, it's the existing customers who are the easiest to go after.
One of the best ways to drive sales is to ensure your customers remember you. Staying in touch is an ongoing effort. But you don't want it to be just about buying your product. Sometimes, it can be as simple as an email with a link to an article your customer might find useful.
I attended a presentation by Jim Cecil, a marketing guru. He suggested creating a Pain and Passion field in Act!. Pain is what keeps your client awake at night (like HIPPA for the medical world). Passion is what drives them and gets them out of bed early (like golf for my sons). This is such a great idea and I did this in my own Act! database. If I see an article about a specific topic, I can send it out in an email merge (using Act! of course). It can go out to several people at once. It's a personal touch that is so often missing in business relationships. If you see a trend in these fields, you can create articles in a newsletter that will resonate with clients. Your newsletter will of course be talking about your business and products - but will be even more interesting by including those topic-specific articles.
Taking it further, when working with clients, ask them about their services and products. You want to know everything you can to ensure you provide them with the right product or service. Then, keep track of this information in Act!.
Keeping track of customer information makes it easy to search for potential customers who can use a new product or service you are offering. You want to keep that customer for as long as you can, and the more you know about them the easier it is to stay on top of their needs.
If you sell multiple products or services, do your existing clients know about everything you offer? Take a look at the historical data about your clients. Look for customers who have not taken advantage of one of your other offerings. Send an email campaign about that service. This does two things - makes your customers aware of the additional offering and provides yet another way to stay in touch.
We tend to neglect our existing clients after we have made a sale. Or as noted before, we are on a mission to get new customers. It is a good idea to periodically look for customers you have not contacted in several months. In Act! there is a really easy way to do that. Under the Lookup Menu, there is an option "Contact Activity". When you click that, you can look for contacts with no activity since a certain date.
I recommend looking at contacts not touched in 6 months. Presto - you have a call list. Call them or send them a "how's it going" email.
The more you stay in touch with your customers, the better chance you will have to drive more sales. It's all about maintaining customer relationships.
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