During rep calls each month, occasionally I hear a rep say “I only had one customer call me with an order” or “no one called me with orders” When I hear these statements, I have to wonder how much follow up contact she is making with her customers. Is she waiting for them to call her with an order? Unfortunately, in the busy world in which we all live, this seldom happens. In my own personal business, if I don’t contact each customer until I receive a response, I wouldn’t even have a minimum order. Part of the responsibility of being a rep is to work your business. By work, this means to advertise, promote and follow up with your customers.
One of the ways to follow up is to check with EACH customer through an avenue of communication i.e. Facebook messaging, Email, Texting and lastly phone calls. If you aren’t contacting your customers personally, then you are missing out on orders. Part of the customer service that we pride ourselves in is to watch out for our customers, to be an extra set of eyes for them. To offer her 100% customer service. When I contact my customers, I am showing them that I care how busy their lives are and making sure that they didn’t forget to let me know if they wanted anything. As busy as we all tend to be, calling an AP rep with an order falls low on the list of priorities, right down there with cleaning up after the family dog!
Have you ever heard of the Rule of 7?
This is an old marketing strategy. It states that a prospective customer needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they act and buy from you. Now, the number 7 isn’t set in stone, but you get the idea. Our competition advertises in the media, our only form of advertising is our personal touch, through messaging and texting and calling.
Keeping the lines of communication is imperative in maintaining the working relationship with your customers. In Money Magazine, it states.
“Part of relationship selling involves maintaining regular contact. If you neglect a client who has trust in your integrity as a person and as a salesperson, that client may finally be forced to turn to your competitor. (Who has probably been calling regularly to get their business.) So, make sure you not only build the relationship, but keep regular contact and keep all channels of communication open.”
As AP reps, we see our competitors every time we drive by the supermarket. If we want to earn the business of our customer, we must advertise just like the local grocery store. How do we advertise? Here’s a couple of ideas for you to ponder on.
- If you hand deliver your catalogs, you are demonstrating one contact point to your customers. When you hand them a catalog, let them know that you will check back with them to see if they want anything.
- If you have your catalogs mailed, as convenient as it is, your customers are not receiving that personal touch. So, you MUST send out a notice to your customers to watch for that catalog, and to let you know if they don’t see it.
- Encourage them to order by offering contests. For example, an early bird contest, or when we go live with the new website, for anyone who places their own order.
- Make a Face Book post on your group or page once a week leading up to order week. You can use the pre-designed Face Book ads available on the pantryacademy blog https://pantryacademy.com/category/sales-tools/images/
- Post once a day during order week on your Face Book group or page. Post pictures of your dinners, recipes using our products or share ideas from the Alison’s Pantry customer page.
- Text all your customers a reminder using a Mass Text app. (Hi Everyone, it’s order week, I know that life is busy and I don’t want you to miss out on any of our super deals this month. Please let me know by _________ if you want anything. I will check back with you if I don’t hear from you.)
- Finally, if you haven’t heard from them using any of the previous contact methods, please call them on the old-fashioned phone. (Hi _____, I hadn’t heard back from you and didn’t want to miss you if you needed something from Alison’s Pantry….. )
In the Rule of Seven an article in http://www.thebabyboomerentrepreneur.com it states:
Too many entrepreneurs only market sporadically because they are “too busy” to market themselves. Then they wonder why they don’t have enough clients. Set aside regular times to engage in marketing activities, even when you’re busy.
We make the mistake of thinking that we are “bothering” the customer instead of offering great customer service. Look at it this way. If your friend found a screaming sale at the local mall and she went and saved a bunch of money and then didn’t tell you about it until the sale was over, would it bother you? You would think to yourself, (Wow, why didn’t you tell me?) Treat your relationship with your customers, the same way. Your customer wants to know of all the great products we offer and the sales, she isn’t always aware and doesn’t always have the time to look over the catalog. If you point out items that you love and use, then she will be more likely to trust you and order.
Good luck on your sales, and remember to check in with your customers often. If you need ideas for growth, please contact you RSM, she is willing to share ideas and help you grow.
Good Luck and Work Hard!
Stacee Izatt RSM