5 Tips to Convert a First Time Customer into a Lifetime Customer
Congratulations! You have sold your product (or service) to a new customer. It’s a great feeling! Then you say something like “Thank you, let me know if there is anything else I can help you with in the future.” Basically, right there, without realizing it, you killed it, and not in a good way. You see, the translation to what you just said is really, “I got my sale, I’m done at my end, and if you want anything else then you’ll have to contact me. I’m not going to put any additional effort into you because I came for the sale and I already got it.” That may not be your intention, but that’s how it may have come across.
In reality, it doesn’t even matter if you got the sale just now. You might be scratching your head over this statement, but it’s true. If you are sincere in wanting a forever customer then you need to build a relationship. That’s the key. Most times they can get the product or service from someone else so why should they do business with you?
Build a Relationship.
A potential customer wants to see that you are interested in them, not as a paycheck, but as someone who wishes to serve them, to help, direct, educate, to build a customer for life. They want to know that you’re in their corner. If you are sincere is wanting to be in their corner than that brings us to the next step, listening.
Ask Open-Ended Questions and Listen to the Answers.
Find out about them. The more information they share, the more you can see how your product or service can help them now or in the future. Note: Keep a journal and jot down info on them so you can bring it up in the future. And remember, you might be doing something totally different in the future, and they may too. So, I hope you see that a relationship is more important than one sale. If it is, then that brings us to the next step, finding out how they want you to connect.
How does your potential customer like to be addressed? How do they like to share communication? By phone? Email? Text? There’s nothing more irritating to a potential customer than communicating to someone that you don’t want to communicate via phone and would prefer email and they keep calling you, over and over again. Is this person really connected to their potential customer’s needs? Absolutely not.
Your New Product or Service to Their Needs
. Always inform your customer if there is something new or something on sale that you feel would be of interest to them. Let them hear your enthusiasm, and explain to her/him that you wanted to share this new product/service because “you remembered how fill in the blank was so important to them. Take the time to explain how it may meet their needs. As you grow this relationship, remember to note how their needs have changed; don’t be afraid to ask them why they’ve changed. Did they get married? Start a new business venture? Downsize or have kids?
New Life Event? Special Occasion?
Remember special occasions and send a card, call or in some cases, send a little gift. Maybe they just had a child, or it’s their company’s anniversary or they just returned from a fabulous vacation. Reaching out to them reminds them of your sincerity to be there for them when needed. My husband and I have a realtor friend and he sends a calendar with his name and phone number on it to us at the end of each year. He calls us twice a year just to check in, remind us that he’s there for us and asks if we have any questions about the market. I say realtor “friend” even though he’s not a social friend. We view him as such though because he builds relationships and we know whether we buy or sell a house soon, he is there to help us with any questions. He’s a great example of creating a customer for life. Without a doubt, we will be calling him if and when we decide to sell and would feel very comfortable recommending him to our friends and associates.
Where ever you or your customer may go in life, there’s always an opportunity to take them with you.
By Karen Orem
How To Make Your Deadlines Every Time
Deadlines can sneak up on you. You think, OK I’ve got two weeks to finish this project, so you place it on hold. Then 24 hours before it’s due, you’re suddenly geared up and stressed out trying to finish the project on time. Watching that calendar date come closer and closer, or completely forgetting the deadline completely, is not a great business strategy when trying to remain professional. Deadline adrenaline rushes can help deal with unexpected events but should never be a part of your strategy. Here are 5 ways to make sure you make your deadlines every time.
1. Break Down Your Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Pieces
Take in the big picture of your workload. Look at each of the projects and their deadlines. Then create for yourself smaller projects within those larger projects. Create deadlines along the way. This way, when your big deadline shows up, you’ve already completed the better part of the project in smaller increments.
2. Use Technology To Stay Ahead
You live in the year 2015; act like it. Don’t try and keep up with all your projects and deadlines in your head or on small post-it notes scattered around your desk. Use calendars, your smartphone, and apps to help you stay on task. There are so many easy applications out there to help you stay organized. Do your research and find (then use) the best organization strategy to help you stay on task.
3. Get Started
Getting started sounds easy, but sometimes it isn’t. Set aside the time to just stare blankly at your computer if necessary. Type words and hope they start making sense. (None of this is good advice…) The reality is though, that unless you position yourself to start… nothing will get done. Your project won’t start itself while you watch that TV show. So put aside time to get started, even if you don’t know quite yet how you are going to start.
4. Reward Yourself
Have a plan to reward yourself when you’ve finished your project. You know yourself best; set up rewards that you know will motivate you. Maybe if you’ve broken your task into several smaller tasks, maybe you are allowed a 10 minute break for each task you finish. Or perhaps once you’ve finished that major project, you go out to dinner at your favorite local restaurant. Either way, have a reward system set up for yourself that will help you power through to the end.
5. It’s Ok To Ask For Help
Don’t ever be afraid to say, “I need help.” Sometimes your project may be too much; you won’t be a hero because you don’t make your deadline… all by yourself. Recruit help if you need it. It’s better to finish the job on time and well, instead of having the project loom over you unfinished.
Speaking of help, is scheduling your work shifts an item in your to do list? Then allow us take that load of your back by trying out our What Time Do I Work software.
Henry Rarick is a marketing specialist who focuses on supporting hard money lenders. He is passionate about making things happen on time and on point.
Head Start: Secure Ways to Get Funding for Your Startup
While many people may have an idea for how to start their own business, getting the necessary funding may be difficult at best. What many people fail to realize is the many different ways there are to secure funding for a startup business. If you meet certain criteria, you can make the process a little easier and get funded more quickly.
A way to reach a variety of people online, crowdfunding has become a popular option for funding a business idea. By using such websites as Kickstarter, people can read about your business idea and donate money to it simply because they like what they see. Many businesses have been able to raise thousands of dollars with this method, so it’s an option that’s definitely worth exploring.
Small Business Grants
New business owners might overlook the numerous grants available to help get the money needed to make their dreams become reality. Businesses that focus on technology, medicine, education, and social services tend to have the most grants available to them, and there are more than 1,000 different grants available from the federal government alone. Online directories are available for searching grant possibilities, making this option well worth the effort.
An option for those who have excellent credit or enough collateral to put up that will lessen the risk of the bank, loans can be a way to get the necessary financing to start a business. For those who own their homes, a home loan can be a way to raise high amounts of money quickly and easily. Talk to a mortgage agent in Houston at Sente Mortgage about how you might refinance or what you might need to do to qualify for a home loan.
Becoming a more popular option for future business owners, angel investors are almost always available in metropolitan areas. Most of these individuals are willing to invest up to one million dollars in a business in exchange for a percentage of the profits. So if you have big plans for your business, these investors can make them happen. Make sure you have a strong pitch to sell your point to them.
Family and Friends
An often overlooked source of business financing, family and friends can be a primary source of funding for any startup businesses. Because they want to see the business be a huge success, they are often willing to offer substantial amounts of money and be flexible when it comes to repayment terms.
By exploring these options, people who have dreams of starting their own business can find themselves with many financing options. While it can be difficult to get a business started, taking advantage of these options can go far toward seeing your dreams become reality.
7 Morning Routines Of Successful Business Minds
We all want to be successful. We want to succeed in our education, in our workplace, in our creativity. But if we are honest with ourselves, we probably hold on to certain habits that aren’t the healthiest for nurturing success. Here are 7 morning habits of some of the best business minds. Maybe, if you start making these your daily early routines as well, you will find more success in your life.
Wake Up Really Early
You knew it would be here… Every successful individual wakes up early in the morning. Unless you already consider yourself an early bird, you’ll need to work your way up to being one; start by waking up thirty minutes earlier than you normally do. Successful individuals typically wake up as early as 4:30 and 5am every morning.
Don’t Check Your Email
Habit says “check your email right now!” But the successful tend to wait on this. Don’t start your day bogged down by emails. Clear your head for yourself first, let business wait for a bit. That way you will approach the demands on your terms as opposed to trying to create your schedule around the directions of others.
Make The Best Coffee
Many successful individuals meditate, or make coffee, or journal in the early morning. Take time to clear your head. Think about yourself. Think about your family. Think about your life goals. Ask yourself, “what three things must I ABSOLUTELY get accomplished today?”. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, decide that you will only focus on these three things today.
Staying fit is important for your health, but burning off a few calories early in the morning kick starts your energy. Exercise wakes you up and makes you ready to head right into your day.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
They always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Successful business minds take the time to eat a healthy breakfast before going into their workday.
Bond With Your Family
It’s early, and successful people know that family time is important. Set aside time in the morning while you’re awake and your mind is clear to speak and bond with your family members. Help your children get ready for school. Clean up after breakfast with your partner. Remember no matter what, family is always the most important.
Plan Your Day
Successful minds don’t walk into the office and try to tackle everything at once. Before you leave your home, consider which tasks you want to complete, and in which order. Always start with the hardest task first. Take on the hardest task and you’ll have the energy to get it done.
Which of these habits do you already use personally? Which do you want to start implementing in your own life right away? And which do you think would be the hardest for you to implement and why?
In-Store Connections: How to Teach Employees Better Customer Service
To attract customers, you have to set your business apart from all others in your industry. You can accomplish this by making your products or services spectacular, but attractive offerings only make up one part of the equation. You also have to make your clientele feel welcome by providing better customer service.
Look through the tips below to improve your customer service skills and your employees’ skills as well. Together, you and your staff can transform your company into a business customers adore.
Don’t Neglect Online Customers
Every modern company needs an online presence. But you can’t just stop at a website. You also have to give customers a way to interact with your business over the Internet. Your online customers likely have more questions than people who visit your store, so use a service like Enterprise instant messaging (preferably on your website) and social media platforms to give your clientele someone to contact.
You don’t have to have a presence on every social media website, but make sure you at least use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Hire a team or a third-party partner to handle these online interactions for you. Make sure they are trained to know how to handle all questions they might encounter.
Don’t Waste Time on Distractions
When business gets slow, you and your employees might feel tempted to chat, watch movies, play games, or do things that distract you from the storefront or the sales floor. But you cannot give in to this temptation. Have your employees on alert at all times so they can welcome customers to your business and ask them if they need assistance. You’ll likely have fewer frustrated shoppers with this strategy.
Ask Every Customer If There’s Anything You Can Do to Help Him or Her
Even if a customer looks like they simply want to browse, your employees should still greet them and ask if they can be of assistance. A smile and greeting show customers you care about their opinion, and they’ll more likely turn into repeat customers as a result. Additionally, if you ask every customer if he or she needs help, no shopper will leave dissatisfied.
Remember to Treat Each Customer with Respect—Be Genuine
You’ll likely see a few angry customers from time to time. They may have had a bad day, or maybe had a bad experience with a product or service. But not matter what they say or do, you have to treat them with respect. Teach your employees to exercise patience and understanding. Teach them to smile and stay calm and courteous in the face of anger.
When your employees treat your clientele with respect, they can resolve many emotional problems. And even if they can’t fix problems, they can at least avoid making them worse.
Have an Intimate Knowledge of Products and Services
Sometimes customers feel frustrated because they ask the staff questions and get lackluster answers. Train each of your employees on every aspect of your business so they can answer every question thoroughly.
Customer service plays an important role in your business’s success. Boost your company’s ratings and revenue by implementing the tips in this list.