YOUR Future Profits -- Protect Source With CARE
At 21 years, just out of Business College, I went into the mail-order business. Spent 4-1/2 years in this venture and learned many valuable lessons about building customer relationships. #1 is TRUST. Folks like to buy from someone who is dependableand responsible.... with integrity.... one who "walks" their "talk".
You'll like our company name - Donna's House of Lustre -"Lustre" is about bright and shiny stuff. We sold silverware, dinnerware and related products. Some products were even imported for us. A great first business experience that has served me well.
Here's my point. We'd send out 50,000 direct mail pieces (cold list) offering a great product and price. 2% response was good. 1,000 sales. 49,000 mailed pieces wasted. 98% waste UNTIL the prospect became a customer AFTER knowing that we over-delivered on our promises.
Next, we would send the 1,000 BUYERS a special offer and get a 10 to 20% return with orders. Why? Their first experience with us was good. Value was received and confidence built in the relationship. The longer we were in business the more valuable each customer was to us as a friend, profits too.
Your best investment with your customer is to "exceed their expectation". Nothing less will satisfy and keep the pipelines filled with new orders. Today, we look for the salesperson to go beyond prior performance, to do more, and more again.
Point is - profits are greatest in repeat business because you eliminate the waste. Many firms lose money on the first sale and make it up in future business AFTER passing the initial test of integrity and good business ethics.
VALUE - UP SELLING
Several opportunities come to mind. Did you offer the "Cadillac" STS or the "low-end" vanilla version in your promotion piece? Can you offer the customer a bonus opportunity to add new features? Better controls? Higher volume? Easier to read directions? Discounts on a second item? Buy two get one free?
Not "bait" and "switch" which is BAD customer service. You should always have in stock the exact item you have featured in your advertising. It is grossly unfair to invite a potential buyer into your store and then be out of stock EXCEPT for a higher priced model.
All of us appreciate knowing that a "better" model is available. It is quite possible that we would prefer the "best" rather than "no" features. Give your customer the option and he or she will be the decision-maker.
Show the benefits of owning each one. Everyone wants to save TIME. Get the job done faster. More features should mean more benefits. Remember, we all want to know WIIFM (what's In It For Me!) Maybe a price concession is currently available.
Always remember the old saying, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". You have to inquire to find the buyers "hot" button. Your job is to meet the needs of the customer.
In our mail-order days we called it "back-end" selling because it was the sales items that caught a "ride" with the outgoing products. Tag along, hitch a ride for FREE. No cost for advertising pieces except printing. No postage or mailing expense.
At the time, we sold an 8 place setting of stainless silverware (fork, knife and spoon) to the housewife. A super buy! Our "back-end" items were iced teaspoons, gravy ladle, butter knife, serving spoons, grill sets, dishes and all the rest.
Hundreds of our customers purchased everything we offered. It was a good feeling to know we were exceeding their very best expectations. Some bought for other members in their family and recommended us to their friends. Our kind of customer!
Our goal is to exceed your expectations in everything that we do. Any articles that you receive or products that are offered or purchased from us MUST be the highest quality and never fall short of the best.
Risk reversal is the key to success. Your customer should not have to take any kind of personal risk when doing business with you or your company. If your product fails to live up to expectation or to meet a need then a refund is in order.
Action Tip: Greatest profit potential is in future sales AFTER the first. Integrity and trust are KEY to growing your business on or off the Internet. Mail-order sales and Internet sales have much in common. Risk reversal for the customer makes buying our products an easy decision. 100% unconditional guarantee of satisfaction is an Internet imperative.