The Bond of Loyalty
The strongest bond you need to make with your customers is that of loyalty. When the competitors come knocking on your customer's door, it is your customer's allegiance to you that will insure that the 'new kids on the block' are met with a firm ‘No thank you’.
So how do you gain customers that will stick with you and only you? Well, if we are loyal to them, won’t they respond back in the same way? It's a strong emotion, and more importantly it can’t be faked.
So how do you build that perfect combination of trust and respect that leads to customer fidelity?
Building and keeping your own ‘tribe’ of faithful customers is one of the best ways to make sure of your ongoing success in the field of sales.
Here are some quick tips that will help.
Five Ways to Build Loyalty
In all your interactions with your customers; positive or negative – you need to take personal responsibility for what is happening and what is going to happen.
To the customer, you are not only seen as the representative of the company he is dealing with - you are the company. Anything and everything you do will reflect negatively or positively on how he views your product or company.
You have the power.
So when things go wrong (and they will), such as a late delivery, it will be no good to blame 'Bill in Dispatch'; that will not engender the customer's respect - however taking a mature responsibility for the situation and trying to sort it out will.
Get Positive About Problems
Problems, problems, problems; they may be a pain in the rear end but they offer brilliant opportunities to build closer bonds with your customers. So whether it’s a wrong invoice, shoddy service, late deliveries etc.) dealing with problems head-on for a customer will build loyalty faster than any another actions you might take. Always make sure you take positive action to deal with any problems quickly. Ignoring them usually means they will just become bigger.
Take Immediate Action
Whenever problems do occur (remembering that they are your responsibility), always take firm and positive action to get them resolved as quickly as possible. Don’t say you will sort it out at the office or make a call later in the day – demonstrate that you are dealing with it there and then by asking to use the customer’s phone - then immediately call whoever it is you need to call to get the issue resolved. You will impress your customer with your positive response to his problem – even if you don’t manage to sort it out straight away.
Keep Your Word
This is an easy one - always, always keep your word. This tip is non-negotiable. When you promise to call a customer by noon the next day, do it, even if you have nothing positive to tell them. Doing this will cement your reputation for reliability.
Use the old cliché of ‘Under promise and over deliver’ as your new mantra.
Ensure that you set a little more time aside that you might need for any task, this will stop you putting too much pressure on yourself if things don’t go as planned. The key is to get on with the task immediately so you can get back to the customer ahead of the deadline, but don’t waste the extra time you have given yourself. Getting back to the customer in advance of the deadline will, again, make sure that you stay in the ‘black’ at the ‘Loyalty Bank’.
Using these easy to follow tips will help you build a strong and loyal customer base that will see you through the 'ups and downs' of your sales career.