A lot of companies are missing out on a likely source of new sales: former customers.
Here are 10 strategies that help get former customers back in the active file. Share them at your next sales meeting.
- Let former customers know you’re interested in finding out why the business was lost. One study showed that many former customers stopped buying because no one let them know they were valuable to the company.
- Stress the fact that former customers have been missed – as individuals, not as names on a list.
- Take responsibility for your actions and those of your company. Admit your mistakes, and take responsibility for everything that was done to lose the customer in the first place.
- Assume there are logical, workable answers to why former customers stopped doing business with you.
- Give former customers information about anything new or different that you’re providing.
- Concentrate on meeting the former customer’s needs in order to deliver full satisfaction.
- Give former customers your undivided attention. It cuts through the resistance, tension and suspicion that may accompany former relationships.
- Understand that former customers are trying to make or save money by increasing sales or reducing costs. You can sell them again if you show former customers how to create and hold an economic advantage.
- Let customers know why it’s smart to do business with you again. Former customers want to feel they’re making the right buying decision in doing business with you again. Try to reinforce that decision throughout your relationship.
- Assure former customers that regardless of what happened in the past, things will be different in the future.
John R. Graham is the president of Graham Associates, a marketing and sales firm based in Quincy, MA.