What is the most valuable asset your company owns? Inventory? Equipment? Employees? If you’ve got customers, your number one asset is your customer list.
You’ve heard the old adage, “It’s 5 times easier to sell an existing customer than to find a new one.” Selling an existing customer is easy because you’ve got the right message at the right time going to the right customer free new zealand email address. There are two proven ways to do this. First, you position yourself as the obvious expert and ask for your deserved referrals and for the next sale. Second, you practice solid customer relationship management and mine your database for all that it’s worth. The first way is passive and takes a really long time.
The second way actively places you on your customer’s radar and keeps you top of mind for his next buying decision. But if your customer information resides in 10 different places, like your accounting software, Excel spreadsheets, little Post-It notes on your monitor and a PDA, you’ve greatly diminished or erased your ability to “be there” for your number one asset when he’s ready to buy again.
Take this 12-point true/false quiz to see if you’re prepared to profit from your database. Give yourself 1 point for each “true” answer:
1. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on every customer who buys from me
2. I collect complete contact information (name, address, phone numbers and email address) on everyone who inquires about my services
3. I keep all my contacts in a single database
4. I keep track of how each customer or prospect found me so I can duplicate my successes and thank my referral sources
5. I have an easy-to-use automated response tool to follow up with prospects before, during and after the sale so I never lose an opportunity because it fell through the cracks
6. I have an easy-to-use system to cross sell my customers on my other services because I track what they bought previously
7. I have a system to track opt-outs to my email campaigns so I can stay in CAN-SPAM compliance with my e-marketing
8. I can forecast my sales for the next week, month or quarter based on opportunities in my sales pipeline
9. I have a customer database clean-up plan to update my contact information at least once per year
10. I have an effective system for tracking open and closed customer service issues
11. I can download leads from my website and schedule a call back for myself in 1 hour or less–everyday!
12. It takes me one hour or less to launch an important email campaign to my customers.
What Your Score Means
If you scored a 7 or less, you’re working way too hard for business and leaving money on the table. Most likely, you’re developing one account at a time instead of creating a sales process that can run on auto-pilot until someone is ready to buy from you. While that’s certainly the way most of us were taught to get more business, and it’s been done like that for decades, it’s not a very efficient use of your time, or a very profitable way to spend your day, or much fun.
If you scored an 8 or above, you’re doing a great job of marketing to and reselling your existing customers. You should look for new sales opportunities with a targeted prospect list or try online advertising. Redouble your efforts with existing customers. Customers think of you as a trusted friend and treat your communications as information, not advertising. A good customer contact program includes 12-18 “touches” per year.