Sales Training – Are you Past Clients Serving you?
Are you Past Clients Serving you?
One of the most underutilised resources available to you, is your database of past clients. There is a goldmine of new business available to you, when you explore your database of past clients and work your list intelligently, to re-activate some of them. What I mean by re-activating past clients, is for you to contact all the people, who have previously bought from you, but for whatever reason, are not now actively buying anything from you right now.
Schedule time Daily
The way to make this work for you is to schedule time every day to work your database. It obviously not something you can do in a day, but with a concerted effort carried out daily, you will gradually be able to contact all your past clients and potentially re-activate them. Remember that these are all people, who have previously bought from you, so it is not necessary to pre-qualify any of them; they obviously need what you have to sell. My experience has shown me that you will not be successful with every call. You will more likely than not only be able to re-activate about 50 % of them.
Your primary objective for making the call, is not to make a sale, but rather to connect with and rekindle the relationship. You have an incredible power base in your pent-up in your past clients and if nurtured, can be an excellent source of business and new contacts.
Making the Call
There is no rocket science involved in making the call, so do not procrastinate making it, because you want to say the right thing and things to go just right. These people already have some sort of a relationship with you so; it should be easy to re-kindle the connection. I guarantee you that they have not been sitting up nights agonising over, why they have not heard from you. They have in fact forgotten about you and that is the problem. You need to re-kindle the relationship and discover ways to remain top of mind. They must think of you first, every time they want to buy whatever it is you sell.
Start the call off simply by telling them you are calling to reconnect and to catch-up. Ask questions during the call about them personally and try to uncover as much background information about their family, interests and social networks as possible. Record this in your CRM system for use later, to help you build the relationship. Once you have gathered some important background information, cut to the chase and tell them the second reason for your call, namely to see if you can enhance their previous investment, they made with your company and if you can be of any further service to them.
You can continue the conversation by asking for any feedback on how your product is performing and if they are experiencing any problems with your product. I know you have read in many sales books that it is best to stay away from any potentially negative talk. Well I believe you and your customers’ needs are best served, when you are aware of potential product issues. These negative things are often the best opportunity to step-up and show what you can do.
Follow-up after the call
As always, after making contact follow-up with your past customer, either by email, via social media or even snail mail, as this will allow you to cement the call and remind them about who you are. You need to find innovative ways to remain on the forefront of their mind, so that they will remember you the next time they need whatever you sell. Try to arrange a face to face meeting with them, either over lunch or at their offices as soon after your call as possible. This combined with your electronic follow-up, will help to re-establish the relationship and remind them about who you are.
Making this work for you
When you engage in re-activating past clients, always approach any of them from a standpoint of service and always ensure that you are authentic and have their best interests at heart. My experience has shown that around one in ten calls to past clients result in actual business, but as you continue to mine your data base and build connection with them, the return per call will most definitely improve.
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