What are you doing in your software business to keep your customers for life? Understanding the thought process the customer goes through before entering into a long term relationship with your company can be the difference between success and failure. Push the balance in your favor by thinking through the entire process and answering the customer’s questions before he asks them.
In our last post we began an article by Brian Tracy talking about the importance of teaming with your customers by developing a successful customer base. The next several segments cover the keys to keeping customers for life.
Teaming up with Your Customers, Part 2
By: Brian Tracy
There are three keys to keeping customers for life: relationship selling, partnering for profit, and consultative selling. These are all methods for differentiating yourself from anyone else who is offering the same product or service. They are ways to get customers and keep them. I will explain each of these in detail.
Relationship Selling is the core of all modern selling strategies. Your ability to develop and maintain long-term customer relationships is the foundation for your success as a salesperson and your success in business.
For your customer, a buying decision usually means a decision to enter into a long-term relationship with you and your company. It is very much like a “business marriage.” Before the customer decides to buy, he can take you or leave you. He doesn’t need you or your company. He has a variety of options and choices open to him, including not buying anything at all. But when your customer makes a decision to buy from you, he becomes dependent on you. And since he has probably had bad buying experiences in the past, he is very uneasy and uncertain about getting into this kind of dependency relationship.
What if you let this customer down? What if your product does not work as you promised? What if you don’t service it and support it as you promised? What if it breaks down and he can’t get it replaced? These are real dilemmas that go through the mind of every customer when it comes time to make the critical buying decision.
Because of the complexity of most products and services today, especially high-tech products, the relationship is actually more important than the product. The customer doesn’t know the ingredients or components of your product, or how your company functions, or how he will be treated after he has given you his money, but he can make an assessment about you and about the relationship that has developed between the two of you over the course of the selling process. So in reality, the customer’s decision is based on the fact that he has come to trust you and believe in what you say. In many cases, the quality of your relationship with the customer is the competitive advantage that enables you to edge out others who may have similar products and services.
The single biggest mistake that causes salespeople to lose customers is taking those customers for granted. Almost 70 percent of customers who walked away from their existing suppliers later replied that they made the change primarily because of a lack of attention from the company.
About The Author
Brian Tracy is legendary in sales, addressing more than 250,000 men and women each year on the subjects of management, leadership, and sales effectiveness. He has produced more than 300 audio/video programs and has written 36 books, including his just-released books “TurboStrategy” and “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.” He can be reached at (858) 481-2977 or www.briantracy.com.