Customer Lifetime Value: 2 of 3

Home/marketing/Topical/Customer Lifetime Value: 2 of 3

‘Well, selling to people is so intrusive, isn’t it?’

Continuing the theme of customer lifetime value, how do you develop real, warm-blooded customers?

A customer comes to you. She buys and she leaves and may never be seen again. She was drawn to you by chance, your reputation, your marketing message, a recommendation or through other routes. Those in business who never ask their customers questions need to understand basic sales.

You never know where to market or sell your product until you ASK your prospects and clients to tell you how they found you and why they have bought this product from you. It doesn’t matter that you have a ‘good gut feel’ for what will sell your range. If prospects don’t agree with your style or taste on a grand enough scale, they won’t buy.

I’ve heard business people say, “I don’t like to ask customers questions. Well, it’s so intrusive isn’t it!”  NO, it’s not! It’s good business brain-work. If you gather this sort of momentum and make it a habit, every pound you spend on new-prospect marketing may be an avoidable expense.

There was that great line from Basil Fawlty on the rare occasion when he had a compliment, “Good heavens, Sybil, a satisfied customer, we should have him stuffed.”

Unless you go looking for compliments and other opportunities, by asking what she normally buys and from where that may be your first and last sale to her. You haven’t established any rapport. What a waste.

People don’t like being sold to, but they do love to buy, whether that’s basics or things that make them feel better. Every product or service needs to be characterised to demonstrate true value. None of us likes to feel we’ve been given a bad deal or made to feel a mug. But we like being told we have made a great decision. We also LOVE being asked for our opinion.

Here’s the test:

If a fellow shopper asked you for an opinion on a product you too were buying, how often would you refuse them?

Yesterday, in a supermarket I picked up a net bag of garlic bulbs. The young women next to me had a similar bag in her hand. She looked at me quizzically then turned to her partner and said, ‘What do we do with all this garlic, I don’t need that much.’  I smiled at her and said, ‘We freeze and squeeze’. ‘Wow, thanks,’ she said.

So, try this. Endorse that your client has made a good decision. – E.g.  “Do you know, we sell a lot of these…customers always come back for more.” A tick in the box.
The next point to make is: “They also buy these…….Have you seen them?”  It’s an up-sell. (Intrusive?  No!)

Sell ideas.

How often do you ask your clients what they think, what they buy and from where? I’m not suggesting a full-blown survey on ‘Survey Monkey’ but, if you’re not asking them, it’s likely you’re wasting your marketing money.