Customer retention can be a tricky skill to master. Have you ever had a great connection with someone and then inexplicably lose them? You weren’t even sure how you lost them… you were sweet, personable, not too spammy. You gave great service, good information, and they really seemed interested in everything you had to say. Maybe they even told you how excited they were to try everything and they couldn’t wait. You were good. You did everything right. So why didn’t you get the sale? Why didn’t they follow through on what they said they were going to buy? Where did you lose them?
There are, of course, obvious ways to lose your customers: be spammy, be pushy, lie, act shady… But we don’t need to discuss any of those topics because you already know better and don’t do those. Still, there are three ways you can lose the sale even after doing everything right. And here they are:
1. Forget to Ask for the Sale
This may seem like a bit of common sense, but if your audience is engaged with you and expresses interest or need in your product, then why not ask? We aren’t talking about messaging people out of the blue for the first time in 15 years and asking them to check out your store, we’re talking about continuing the conversation that has already been going on. You’ve piqued their interest, explained the benefits of your product, told them what’s in it for them. All that’s left is to actually give them permission to go ahead and buy. Send them the link to your site, offer to help pick out the options they have available to them…a lot of sales are lost because sellers allow the conversation to drop. They get people interested in the product and then never ask. And that question can go a long way.
2. Let Them Procrastinate
It’s true, procrastination has dropped millions of sales over the years. We want to allow the customer to move in his or her own time, but allowing them to put it off for too long can be disastrous to our sales volume. The longer a customer takes to head over to your site, the less likely he or she is to ever get over there. It’s normal for people to want to think things over, discuss the purchase with their significant others, or even do some comparisons online with other companies — so there’s no need to pressure them into making a decision right then and there. But do not let them leave without some plan for a follow-up encounter. Set an appointment for a day or two so they can expect to hear from you soon without added pressure.
Additionally, you can add introductory pricing, onetime deals, gifts with purchase, and other incentives to help convey a sense of urgency.
3. Not Staying on Top of Their Priority List
Sometimes, we need to be reminded of the things we need. Priorities can change from day to day based on circumstances. So as sellers, we want to keep up-to-date on our clients’ circumstances so we can shift our strategies accordingly. For example, near the holidays fewer people are worried about replenishing their own stocks in favor of purchasing gifts for their friends and family. By reminding people that you offer a product that aligns with their priorities, you can motivate them to take action and purchase that product much easier than by trying to convince them how much they will love it.
Direct sales is, more than anything else, all about the relationships. But sometimes we get so caught up in being connected with our audience that we forget how to convert that connection into a sale. How many sales have you lost simply because you forgot to ask for the sale? Or because you let your would-be customer forget about you?
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