Have you ever wondered why a customer buys from you only once and never buys from you again nor sends you referrals? It is because you—not the customer—did not build a relationship before, during and especially after the sale. Maintaining the relationship at these three phases is your responsibility, not your customer’s. The most profitable fence companies cultivate long-term relationships rather than focusing on onetime transactions. It is called “relationship” marketing. Relationship marketing is when you nurture a long-lasting relationship with your clients. In short, you know them and they know you. There is a connection, a loyalty. In essence, you “marry” your clients and create a win-win partnership for life. Transaction marketing, on the other hand, is merely a money exchange. It is nothing more than a cold business deal. It is when your customer views you as a salesman and you view them as a buyer. No warmth. No connection. Just money changing hands. It is usually a one-time, short-term sale without much thought of a long-term relationship. Relational marketing is better because it allows you to obtain more customers at a lower acquisition cost.
Do you know why your customers stop buying from you and never refer their friends?
Customers leave because you stop “romancing” them. They leave because they feel you do not care about them anymore. Of course, some customers may buy only one fence in their lifetime; however, most customers have friends who need fences.
10 reasons to stay close to your customers
Most business owners say they intend to stay close to their customers. However, in reality, they spend more time and money trying to turn prospects into customers rather than keeping close to customers for life. Here are some reasons why you should focus on building a long-term relationship with your customers:
1. They are the only market that gives you money. Suspects and prospects do not give you money. A suspect is anyone in your trading area who needs a fence but knows nothing about you. A prospect is anyone who has contacted or passed by your business but never purchased. A customer is someone who has given you money. Think about it: 100% of your profits come from one market: customers. 2. It is cheaper to keep closer to past customers rather than trying to attract new customers. 3. Customers are your best source for referrals. Word-of-mouth is still king. It will always be that way, no matter what new technology is invented. 4. Customers are the easiest market to reach, if you have an up-to-date customer contact list. 5. You can reach your customers immediately. 6. Customers are not as price sensitive as prospects. You can earn more from repeat business. 7. When you contact a customer, your contact is not viewed as junk mail or spam; it is viewed as a message coming from a trusted friend and advisor. 8. If you sell to customers more than once, there is a life-time value. The second sale is more profitable. 9. They trust you more than your prospects or suspects trust you. People buy from those they trust. 10. If you do not stay close to them, your competitors will attempt to start a relationship.