In the sales industry, the ability to close a sale is super important for any owner of a thriving business.  However, it doesn’t end there.  Generating reorders from your customers is as important as (or even more important than) the initial sale. Neglecting your reorder business can leave a significant amount of money on the table.

So how do you encourage reorders? It starts with a customer profile.

  • Creating a customer profile. As you work with each customer, create a written or electronic customer profile card that lists important information that will improve your follow-up. Here’s a basic and simple format:

Individual customer profile:

    1. Products/services that interest the customer
    2. Possible duration for reorder
    3. Special dates and occasions
    4. Preference for contact (phone, email, in-person, etc.)
    5. Other unique/special traits
  • Create a profile of a customer who continually comes back to reorder over a long period of time.  What is it about this prospect that makes the person a regular customer?  What wants and needs are being met by you, your product/service, or your relationship that inspires such loyalty? By answering these questions, you have a better idea about what might inspire such loyalty in other customers. Note these on the customer profile.
  • Strategize your marketing methods with the effective customer profile in mind.  In all types of retail, there is an oversaturation of promotions for new customers only.  You can help generate reorders with a marketing strategy that encourages past customers to patronize your business again.  Once you really pinpoint the wants and needs of your customers, you can tailor your marketing directly to them.  A special shopping pass that provides advance access to new products could draw in previous customers, especially if those new products are an improvement upon or an extension of those they already use and love.
  • Use customers’ purchase histories to understand their wants and needs.  Consider what the customer has already purchased as well as what he/she showed interest in, but may not have bought.  For example, let’s say a young woman buys a face cleanser, and as she is paying asks about the anti-aging nighttime cream but does not buy it.  The exchange between you and her may only last a minute or two, but valuable information can be gained by it and should be noted on the customer profile. It’s obvious that she cares about maintaining healthy skin, and you know that she will love your facial cleansing product.  Because she asked about the anti-aging product, it is clear that she does have some concern over whether or not this is something she should start using.  A great way to handle a situation like this is to make a follow-up call a few days after purchase to find out how she likes the cleanser and to give her some more information about the anti-aging cream or other similar products that might complement her nighttime skin care routine.  You’ve now shown her that you care about her satisfaction and are there to further meet her future wants and needs.  Such customer care and personalized information will keep that person coming back.
  • Invest in your customers so they will invest in you.  There are many ways to invest in your customers, and it doesn’t always have to mean cutting into your profits.  Do not disregard the value of offering a free sample; making it low-risk to try your products/services can be very effective for turning a one-time customer into a regular.  However, you should also be investing your time in things like frequent follow-ups and workshops or product demos.  Anything that fosters a good relationship with your customer will be good for your business.

How have you used customer profiles to bring in reorders?  Please share your tips with us in the comments section!