For the past few weeks, I’ve explained how to bring leads into your sales process, effectively track them once they show interest, and move them all the way to a purchase. Have you tried some of these tips? Feel free to share your thoughts on this process at the bottom of the post.

If you have had some success and made a few sales, you are ready for the next step. Yes, you read that correctly- there is a next step! Leads don’t stop becoming leads once a purchase is made. I know, you thought you were done. In reality, the first sale is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship in which people come back, buy more and- best of all- tell their friends about you.

Lets face it, getting someone who knows you to buy from you again is much easier than trying to find a new customer. So how do you keep them on the hook?

Say Thank You.

Turning your first time customers into a loyal group of purchasers starts when you say “Thank You.” Let them know you value them as customers by reaching out with personalized messaging and immediate, positive recognition of the sale. Promote additional products and services that pair well with their purchase and offer these items at a ‘loyalty discount.’ In short:

  • If you  have an eCommerce site, follow-up with paying leads. Send a simple ‘Thank You’ every time. You can often automate this process through your point of purchase system.
  • Promote value added services or relevant, peripheral products and services in your follow-up communication.
  • Encourage them to review your service on Yelp, G+, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor or other relevant review sites.

Remarketing and Reactivating

R & R (Remarketing and reactivating) strategies are the next logical step for customers on your Hook Line & Sinker list. Email reminders, print postcards or simple phone calls can be used to offer other products, promote loyalty and referral reward programs or simply stay on their minds.

  • Remarketing is the process of reaching out to customers or qualified leads with new messaging, offering new products and services or offering your original services in a novel way.  Not everyone will be motivated by the same things.  Remarketing lets you try different approaches until you find one which really hits home. Maybe your “buy one, get one at half price” works for some people, but others don’t want or need 2 of what you offer. For them, an extended warranty or a straight  25% discount might be just what they need to make a decision to buy today.
  • Reactivating is useful to bring former customers back into your sales cycle. Annual reminders from a dentist or a friendly call from your hair stylist letting you know she hasn’t seen you in awhile are good examples of reactivating tactics at work.  Be sure you keep your customer records updated so you can stay in touch between sales.

Cross-Selling Drives Sales

Have a product that’s not selling as well as you hoped but is an amazing upgrade or companion to your flagship offerings? Consider selling it at a discount to your loyal customers. Your Hook, Line, & Sinker leads already trust you enough to make their initial purchase, meaning you have leeway in your follow-up messaging to continue selling to them.

You don’t necessarily have to sell your cross-marketed products or services at a discount to get traction. When I worked in insurance, we found it very useful to offer links to additional insurance riders or peripheral coverage in our follow-up emails to customers who purchased our main product. Sometimes all it takes is making your other products visible to make a sale.

Encourage Referrals and Reviews

Encouraging your customer base to send new referral business your way is valuable. If cross-selling doesn’t match up with your range of services, a powerful alternative is asking customers to review your business. Typically, expect only a small percentage of your customers to offer up a review, but the ones you do receive can be shared on places such as your website, Yelp! and Yellow Pages to positively affect your ability to be found on the internet.

You can also offer discounts on services or products for customers who send you referral business. This can be through a special promotional code or phone number you include in your follow-up messaging so you can track each referral that comes in. Don’t forget to also offer a discount to the new referral leads that choose to do business with you as a sign of appreciation and as a way to ease the sale.

If you take only one idea away from this blog post, remember it is always more expensive to find a new customer than to sell more to an existing one. Make your sales efforts go further by staying connected to people who are already on your hook.