The key to repeat customers is relationships. Relationships are established and maintained through communication and follow through. In a “one to many” job such as yours, having a good system for customer follow-up is crucial to keeping your relationships healthy. Pursuing these four steps to create and maintain a follow-up system that will contribute to good customer relationships and increased sales:
- Keep your contact database current and complete. This means more than a name, address, and phone number. Birthdays, anniversaries, spouse/children names, notes from conversations, and items to follow through on the need to be entered and kept current.
- Convert your conversations. Take notes when you talk to your customers, and as soon as possible afterward, convert the notes into your contact database. Include small things (a child’s soccer championship win) and big things (need for financial planning session). This will create an “audit trail” for you that will help make the conversation more personal and helpful the next time you talk.
- Track and follow through on your commitments. Use the contact database and your conversation notes to track any commitments you have made to your customer. Make sure you follow through on any actions you have promised to take; if for some reason you are unable to complete an action within the time frame you’ve offered, be sure to follow up with the customer and make a new commitment. And note the new date in your database.
- Schedule specific times for follow up tasks. Discipline yourself to devote a specific amount of time at the same time every day (or every other day) to attend to the above three items.