Don’t start a conversation with – hey howzit going?

It is easier & more profitable to sell more to an existing Customer than getting a new one.Chances of selling to a new Customer is 5 to 10% , but to an existing customer it is 60 to 70%

So, it’s a no brainer to care for & nurture your existing accounts to the best of your ability.

But…. so many sales Reps either neglect Customers or make lame, half-attempts at really servicing them & by so doing, miss out on building profitable relationships.

I’m sure you have had the “How’s it going?” or “Just checking in” calls.

What a waste of time. Even worse, they are potentially damaging.

Here’s a personal example.

I bought a car from a local dealer. The young sales rep was enthusiastic, but didn’t do a particularly good job of selling. I was in no hurry to buy, but he was in a huge, seemingly desperate rush to sell.

As a result, he kept lowering his price, and finally hit a point that was too good to pass up.

Over the next several weeks I received a few calls on my cell phone voice mail from the sales rep, each one pretty much the same:

“Hey, just wanted to be sure everything is OK with the car. Give me a call.”

Well, to me that is a worthless call, and I felt there was another motive. If everything was not OK, I would certainly have let them know. I never did return the calls.

Finally, after a few more voice messages, I answered (I guess you can attribute it to persistence, or just wearing me down.)

The call went the same as the others:

“How’s everything going with the car?”

Just fine, I replied.

“OK. Know anyone else looking for a car?” he then asked.

Not right now, I told him.

I did have a small issue though… they were to arrange to get my license plates to me and it was past the time they had promised. So I asked him,

“By the way, I still have not received my plates yet. Can you check on that?”

He assured me he would. He never did get back to me, and I handled it on my own.

Several sales points here:

  1. Some people might say the “Want to be sure everything is OK” call is good customer service. No, usually it is a thin disguise for a self-serving motive, which it was in this case: asking for a referral. I’m not saying don’t call. Do. But have something of value or interest as the reason. He had known the issue about the plates before, so he should have called with an update on them. Or some other news, or something of value like info on the free oil changes I was promised.
  2. 2. I’m all for asking for referrals. The best time to do it is when you have just been told how good you are, or how much someone enjoys your product.
  3. If someone is going to make the effort to place a call to supposedly find out if “everything is going OK” and then is told it is not (no plates yet), shouldn’t they then follow through to give the appearance that they truly care that everything is OK? I believe so.

Of course calling existing Customers is your best source of additional business and referrals. The key is making someone feel that every time they speak with you, they had gained from the experience.

Happy selling!

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