Good, Better and Best

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For the next few months we would like to focus on helping you to strengthen your businesses and gain consistent sales each month. One of the best ways for you to maintain your sales is to have customers that order regularly and often. It is said that it costs more in business to find a new customer than to reactivate a previous one. We all have customers that have stopped ordering for no apparent reason, this is money that we are leaving on the table. With the switch from old portals to the new online system, many reps had customers that didn’t transfer over because they lacked emails or vital contact information. These customers are not lost or gone forever. These are what we call in the sales industry “hot contacts”. They have had contact with our company and have engaged in business previously and will likely do business again if they are contacted and approached. Your customer list is one of your most valuable resources when it comes to increasing your sales. What is the best way to contact your “lost” customers?
These “Lost” customers need a little more focus than just a random text. They need you to rekindle the relationship that you once had when they ordered. How do you do this? You must have personal contact, not just words on a screen. When you take the time to contact them through phone or in person, you are showing that they matter to you as a person. You are taking the time to show them that you will serve them and offer them your services. Take the time to ask them what they liked or didn’t like about AP, overcome any problems they may have had and then offer them an incentive to order again with you. If you are a brand-new rep and have been given a customer list from a previous rep, you will need to contact each customer face to face or minimally on the phone. Remember that these customers do not have any established relationship with you. Your focus should be to build a relationship by getting to know them and extending a hand to them. Whether the previous rep was bad or good at connection, you are following in their footsteps. You need to establish a connection to the new customer to gain their confidence in you. The faster you do this, the more likely you are to retain the customer. It takes a lot more energy to warm an ice cube than it does a glass of lukewarm water.
Of course, in a perfect world, we would like our customers to place their orders online without us having to do it for them. But we don’t live in a perfect world and most of us need reminders and encouragement for even the most common tasks. We can’t expect our customers to place orders without reminding them and sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times before they remember. So how do you go about contacting these customers? Whether they are regular customers or once a year ordering customers, they all need to have regular contact with you to keep the relationship open. How will you know if they have an order for you if you don’t ask? Remember, they aren’t likely to place the order without your contact. What is the best way to contact your customers? There are three types of contact.  Good, Better and Best.

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Any contact is GOOD contact. Text message and email reminders are good but, unless the customer responds back to you, you won’t know if they have seen the text or email and you won’t know if they have an order or not. No response is not a “NO”. You need to make sure to ask them for a response and continue trying to contact them until you receive one.
Text or Email:

Hi, __________, I haven’t heard back from you and wanted to check and make sure that I didn’t miss you. Was there anything that you wanted in the catalog I dropped of the other day. The order will close on ________________, just let me know. If I don’t hear back from you, I will contact you again. Thanks, and have a wonderful day.

Texting reminder for orders:

Hi _______, Just a quick note to let you know about the Alison’s Pantry order. The deadline for catalog #___ is __________ and I didn’t want to miss you if you wanted something. Please let me know either by texting, FB messaging, or email, or you can go online and enter your own order. If I don’t hear back from you, I will call you back again so that I can be sure I didn’t miss you. Thank you for all your support! You’re the best!

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A BETTER form of contact is to contact them by phone.
As mentioned before, a better way to contact your customer is through personally speaking to them, whether face to face or on the phone. When you talk to someone, you can distinguish underlying tones. They can feel your excitement and can sense your likes and dislikes of a product. In turn, you can distinguish their thoughts better in their voice reflection than in words on a screen. If they are interested in a product but are hesitant in their voice, you can reassure them of our money-back guarantee. You can also offer your suggestions and recommendations. They are less likely to brush you off if you are talking to them. Sharing your comments and thoughts on a specific product is much easier on the phone rather than texting it.
If you have a phobia to the phone and have a tough time initiating the call, you need to practice first. Just like anything we do in life, practice makes perfect. One of our previous reps Stacie Callahan, shared with me the difficulty she had in beginning her business. “I was shy and didn’t like to talk to people. I was afraid to call them. I began calling and it got easier and easier. After a while, it became something I enjoyed. I began to love the relationships that it had fostered. Alison’s Pantry has been the best thing for me as a shy person to help me to get outside of the box and meet new people. Along with helping me feed my family, it helped me gain confidence in myself as a person.” Pick up the phone; it just takes practice. Here are a few scripts to help you on phone calls:

An established customer:
Hi___________, this is _______. How are you? I just wanted to check in with you and make sure you received your Alison’s Pantry catalog. I left it the other day for you. I know that it is so busy this summer and I have a hard time getting back with you, and I don’t want you to miss out on anything if you want to order. If you have it ready, I can add it right now. If not I will call you back next week and check in with you. You can email, text or phone me when you’re ready. Thanks!! Have a good day!!!

Call back-Follow up:
Hi__________, I haven’t heard back from you since we last talked and I told you I would call you back. Did you get a chance to look over the catalog? If yes, then say. Good, do you have your order ready? I can take it now.
If no, say ok, do you need more time? I can check back with you tomorrow. The deadline is ___________. If you want you can text me the numbers or email it. Whatever is easier for you. Thanks!!! I appreciate your support.

Follow up on a catalog placement:

Hi ___________, Do you have a minute? Yes, great! I wanted to check back with you and get your thoughts on the Alison’s Pantry catalog that I left with you. What was your first impression? Did you see anything you might like to try? Yes: I love that product and it is one of our customers favorites. Did I tell you about our guarantee on everything in the catalog? Would you like to me to order it for you to try?
We have an online site where you can place your own order. O if you prefer I can do it for you with your information. If you prefer to do it yourself, that’s not a problem. I have already created an account for you so just log on with your email and the password 123123. You can change the password when you log in. Enter your items and the payment form and I will do the rest. Thank you for your help. I will be happy to help you or if you have any problems, please let me know. I appreciate your support!

Hi____________, Do you have a minute? NO- Is there a better time to catch you? I just wanted to ask you about the catalog that I gave you. I don’t want to keep you long because I know your time is tight. I will call you back. What time works best for you? Thanks!!

Another wonderful way to contact customers is in person. If you can introduce yourself and establish a face to face contact, this will be your best chance of gaining a customer. This is one reason why your friends, family and neighbors will make a good customer. They already have established a trust with you as a person. Find every opportunity to talk face to face when you can. Here are a few scripts to help you with this:

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Scripts in person:

Introductions to AP.

“Hi ________, My name is __________ and I have recently started working with Alison’s Pantry. Have you ever heard of it? No, well, do you have a minute? We are a UT based company that offers restaurant quality food for your home. It is delivered by a truck about a week after the order deadline. Everything we sell is 100% guaranteed, if you don’t like it you will receive a refund. We send out a monthly catalog that you order from either through me or on our new website. I was wondering if you would mind taking one and then looking through it? I would like to call you in 2 days and get your opinion and thoughts on our catalog and products. Would you be willing to do that for me? Can I get your phone to call you back on _______? Thank you!”

Hi ________, I have been thinking of sharing this with you. Here is a catalog from a company called Alison’s Pantry. I have been using these products and love them. I thought you might like to see some of the things that I love. Would you mind taking a minute to look through it and I will check back with you to get your opinion and thoughts? What time is best for me to contact you? What is your number? Thanks, I will call you back and see what you think. Thanks!

The BEST form of contact is using all forms. Texting, phone, in person and messaging. By using all of these, your chance of contact is greater. I watch FB messaging on order week and, if any of my customers are active, I message them. Send text reminders along with email reminders. Most people will not check email daily, so you have a better chance of reaching them using text but use email too. You never know the best way each month of contact and it will likely vary. The most important thing is to follow up and maintain the contact. Work hard and your efforts will pay off. Contact is the most important part!

Stacee Izatt RSM

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