Perfect the Follow-Up

Got that first sale? Here are the steps to keep the relationship thriving.

Lay Out a Plan:
During the initial sale, tell customers that ensuring they’re happy is of utmost importance to you. To that end, let them know you’ll follow up with them after the sale to make sure everything went well. Outlining your plan to follow up has a number of positives: It provides reassurance to the buyer during the initial sale by showing you’re accountable and it sets another contact point from which you can grow the relationship into more sales.

Don’t Procrastinate:
Time your follow-up so that it falls shortly after the client’s event. If you did your job well, more often than not you’ll be closer to the top of the customer’s mind and they’ll be pleased with you, making them more open to dialog. During the follow-up, ask the customer how everything went. Were they happy with the products and your service? What could have been better? This shows you’re conscientious and committed. It reinforces what you should’ve established during the first meeting: That you aim to be a partner who brings value.

Set Up the Next Sale:
If clients react positively to their buying experience, you have a terrific inroad to the next order. Tell the customer you have ideas about how you can further help them, and that you’d like to learn more about additional needs they may have. If they’re game for a chat at that point, roll with it and go into your consultative process. If not, ask them when their next particular event, campaign or other initiative is, and tell them you’d love to create solutions for them. Then, establish a time you can have a discussion. Ideally, you want to meet with them in person so you can present tangible samples and build greater personal rapport. When it comes time for the next chat, be prepared with creative product and branding ideas that will be a strong fit for the client.

Learn Their Calendar:
Knowing a customer’s calendar is how you can really set yourself up for consistent sales. Understanding well in advance what clients have coming up means you can be proactive about presenting solutions that truly ‘wow’ the client, generate ROI and, potentially, earn you greater profits. Being locked in also helps keep competitors outside the client’s harbor.

Put Your Thank You in Ink:
After an initial sale, send customers a handwritten note that thanks them for their business. It’s an oft-given piece of advice, but one that many salespeople neglect to act on. In a world where commerce is fast-paced and increasingly digital, providing the human touch of a written note still helps you stand out, personalizing you to the customer.