The Pitfall Most Small Businesses Fail to Avoid
Entrepreneurs take many steps to gain customers, but one of the most important steps they forget is retaining them. Without adding follow-up as part of your customer relation management (CRM) strategy, you are headed for failure.
Follow-up is essential to having revenue continuously flow through your business.
If you are focused on the everyday task of running a business, it is very easy for the follow-up to fall by the wayside, especially if you are a solopreneur, entrepreneur or a small business owner with no help. Without a CRM in place you are leaving money on the table.
Let's take a look at the categories existing, and potential customers or clients fall into:
Ready and eager to buy
On the fence about buying
Not ready to buy
Will never buy
Now, in order for you to stay connected, you need to create a follow-up message for each group of people.
The ready and eager customer will make a purchase and needs to have incentives which will keep them coming back. Send out coupons or have a loyalty program where you have ongoing rewards. They are excited about what you have to offer, and they will share that excitement with family and friends. Having excited and loyal customers is an excellent way of gaining referrals.
Customers sitting on the fence are considered suspects. They are undecided and need to be persuaded by showing urgency in purchasing your products or services. For instance, using words like limited time or only a few left will motivate them to make a decision.
Those who are not ready to buy are your prospects. You have to entice them by offering free trials or giving them a sample of what you are offering.
The last group, are the ones that will never buy from you, no matter what you do. In my opinion, they are not your customers.
Business owners usually forget about the ready and eager to buy. Most figure that these clients are going to make a purchase from them again, so they do not have to worry about staying connected. The last three groups may seem like hard work to getting them to make a purchase and sometimes that can be discouraging.
Just like a farmer tilling the ground and planting seeds has an expectation of yielding a harvest, following-up with a potential and existing client will yield revenue.
Take pride in your field and you will produce a greater return. Do not let profits rot in the field; you must nurture those who are on the fence or not ready to buy and offer more to the ones who are ready and eager to buy.
Basically, in order for a business to grow you must stay connected to your clients or customers. Many startups fail because they do not build a relationship with their customers. When someone makes purchases, there is a tendency to ignore them or remove them from the follow-up list, which means they are never contacted after they make their first purchase.
Businesses that are well established start early in finding ways to stay engaged with their customers. One of the methods they use is sequenced or automated emails. The ultimate goal of the emails is to guide customers to making a purchase decision.
To do this, you must use emotional triggers, whatever motivates or benefits your audience, will cause them to react. For example, creating an email to be released on the anniversary date of a customer, celebrating the length of time they have been with your company and adding a coupon will encourage them to return to your website or place of business to make a purchase.
Making sure to follow-up with your client base is critical to the growth of your business. Set aside some time to engage with your customers. Each time they make a purchase send an email. You do not have to respond to each email directly set up a sequence, automated email so that once someone makes a purchase an email is automatically sent out.
The good thing about these programs is, they have professional templates you can use. Just remember the financial success of any business depends on a well-implemented follow-up plan. Let me know some of your follow-up strategies. Comment below.
Need help with creating your follow up strategy, just let us know.
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