Repeat sales can be the difference between a thriving business and a failing one. In order to increase the amount of repeat business you do, the most crucial thing to remember is that friendship is more important than sales. By treating your customers just as you would your friends, you instill a sense of trust in your business, and give them plenty of reasons to continue patronizing your business instead of your competitors’ business. Begin seeing your customers as friends and increase your repeat business in the following ways:
- Create opportunities for friends to buy, rather than having sales. The main idea here is that you want to appeal to your friends. What is it they need or want? Think about their favorite products, what they’ve expressed interest in, or what they’d like to see more of. For example, a customer wants to purchase your organic hair care starter kit for several of her friends this holiday season, but is hesitant to spend so much money at once. Even though you aren’t planning on discounting this item in particular, offer a special for this specific customer at a price that works for you both. Your willingness to satisfy her need as well as the personalized service will encourage her to come back again and again.
- Truly believe that your product/service helps your friend. If you sincerely believe in what you are selling, that will shine through to the customer. Think of the last time you ate at a fabulous restaurant with delicious food and an outstanding wait staff: Didn’t you tell your friends and family about it right away? When we experience something pleasurable, we naturally want to share it with others. Your products and services are no different.
- Always deliver excellence. Aside from making good business sense, a commitment to excellence will give you a leg up on your competitors and big business counterparts. When something goes wrong, fix it. When something goes right, commend those involved and integrate it into your regular business practice. Whenever possible, anticipate issues before they arise. The best way to deliver excellence is to be proactive.
- Keep your promises. Of course everyone makes mistakes, but failing to keep promises is a surefire way to drive people to take their business elsewhere. Don’t promise something that isn’t 100% guaranteed, like something you cannot control. If a customer inquires about an out-of-stock item, an honest answer such as, “We expect the shipment on Monday afternoon,” will be much more appreciated than, “It will definitely be on the shelf by Monday.” What if the truck is late or goes to the wrong address? What if the order is wrong? Always be honest and only promise something when you’re sure you can deliver.
- Focus on conversation, not a sales pitch. Because you see your customers as friends, you should take a true interest in their lives. Strike up conversations that aren’t disguised as sales pitches. Ask about family members by name when possible, find common interests, and share something about yourself as well. Remember that friendship is a two-way street, so don’t forget to do your part.
A commitment to building relationships is necessary for increasing your repeat sales. Focus on your customers as friends and do everything you can to help them.
How do you generate repeat business? Please share your ideas below!