I was on a sales forum panel the other day and someone asked “What is the most important step in the sales process?” There were a variety of answers given with qualification and with “asking for the order” being the most common.
As I read through the answers, it hit me about what was wrong. They were missing the most important sales step, the one that most salespeople miss. If I was to ask you to describe your sales process, what would you say? Think about it for a moment before you read on.
Have you thought about it?
If you are like most salespeople, you have described the process up until you make the sale. Maybe it’s something along the lines of “qualify, present, and close”. If you have, then you have also missed the most important step, and it’s the step that occurs after you make the sale.
The sale does not end when you close (and that’s why I don’t like that word). It has really only begun at that point. When someone agrees to buy from you, you have the potential to double, or triple – in fact exponentially increase that initial sale. You can only do this if you add APPRECIATION to your sales process.
This is where you turn your customers into raving, loyal fans so they want to buy more from you and will tell others about you. This is the golden step where you will get the greatest leverage from your sales efforts. This is how your customers will become your unpaid sales force. So how do you use appreciation to turn customers into raving, loyal fans?
You must connect with each of them individually. You need to show that you appreciate and care about them, personally and professionally. You need to do this regularly and consistently. It’s so easy to do, and unfortunately easy not to do, and most salespeople don’t do it.
In my entire corporate sales career, I’ve never worked for a company that had a customer appreciation plan or system in place. They just left it up to each salesperson to do, and most did not do it. They were too busy chasing the next sale because they had neglected this step and had not developed their customers as an unpaid sales force.
What have you been doing up until now – regularly and consistently -to show appreciation for your customers? What is your customer appreciation plan? Do you even have one? Make it a top priority to put a systematic appreciation process in place.
I suggest that you determine the top 20% of your customers that probably give you 80% of your revenue and put them on an “A” list appreciation plan. Split the rest between “B” and “C” list plans. Look for systems that can automate a lot of this for you. They are readily available so it is not a good excuse that appreciation plans take up too much time.
In fact, if you are thinking you don’t have time, it is probably because you are too busy chasing new customers yourself and you have not developed your unpaid sales force!
Remember when you appreciate your customers, they will appreciate you. Begin showing consistent appreciation and watch your sales grow as if by magic!**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.