What’s the easiest way to lose a customer? Making a sale is easy, right? Anyone can run a great marketing campaign and sell a billion new digital mousetraps, right? If that were true, then every person you run into would buy into your self-hanging picture frames, USB-powered potato mashers, and self-supporting articulated left-handed coffee cups. So why do we get so many people who look at our products and walk away? Some people may have no actual interest, but there are many times when the answer comes down to our inability to close a sale. Let’s face it, we see some really dumb stuff out there, so let’s talk about a few ways that we lose a customer.
Making Customers Wait
There was a time when we knew we would have to wait for anything. You wait in line at the store, you wait at home for your catalog order, you wait on the phone for an operator. Millennials are leading the way for impatience. Today we have instant everything. Customers don’t want to wait on the phone; a recent market survey shows that 60% of them will hang up after one minute of being on hold. Customers will walk out of a store after only 10 minutes if they have not been served. How you approach customer service will change the whole psychology of the sale. Offering an online help desk, or giving your client an option to be called back by the first available representative is an easy way to keep the customer happy, and not feeling like they are waiting in line.
Many of us remember all those late night commercials, “For only 6 installments of $19.95 you can get… That’s right, just 6 installments of $19.95! Call now and receive your special limited time offer of just $19.95…” You are probably already turned off by now, and a big part of that comes from having the price crammed down your throat. Customers want something of value. If you show your client what value your product has for them, they are more likely to stay interested, and you are more likely to make the sale. While there are times to use price to close a sale (time sensitive sales), clients are more apt to buy on your closing tactics when you have listened to their needs and provided them with a product that satisfies their desire, regardless of price.
Stay in the Customer’s Face
If making a customer wait doesn’t drive your clientele away, try a constant barrage of sales. Call them regularly, particularly during the early morning hours of the weekend, in the middle of the workday, and especially during meals. Everyone loves to have their dinner interrupted by the guy who is trying to sell them a new set of rain gutters, especially when they have called three times already and spammed your inbox. While setting up an autoresponder on a CTA is a wonderful way to keep your business in someone’s mind, sending them three messages a day is a sure way to get your offers auto-tossed into the Junk Mail bin. Autoresponder offers should be short and sweet, to the point, and as a general rule, not more than once a week.
Turn Your Back on Current Customers
You’ve already got their money, so yeah, let’s move on! If they want another product, they know where we are, right? The probability of selling a product to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is on 5-20%. If you are looking for one single statistic here that says it all, that was it. Keeping current customers happy and continuing to market to them is less expensive, and more profitable. Maintaining old customers may not be as glamorous and exciting as making new deals but it is a proven way to keep income rolling in. Get to know your base clientele. Knowing what you can provide to enhance their future most certainly will improve your future as well.
Closing a sale is an art form. There is no one way to get a customer to decide to buy. A good marketing plan helps, but in so many cases the sales representative is what makes or breaks the deal. Pushy, canned, high-pressure sales pitches are a sure way to drive people away. Believe in your product, believe in yourself, be authentic, and lose a customer.