5 critical points in the sales process for creating repeat customers

Repeat customers save you time, energy, and money. Here's a walk-through of a sample sales process to illustrate when and how to pursue repeat customers.
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Note: This is article #1 in the The Ultimate Guide to Creating Repeat Customers

Imagine you’re a member of an online jewelry company. You believe your jewelry is timeless and can withstand the rapidly changing fashion trends.

Sarah, a potential customer you met at a business fair a few months ago, happens to be in search of a new bracelet to wear to her friend’s wedding.

After weeks of back-and-forth emailing, Sarah is finally convinced that your jewelry is worth purchasing. You show her the perfect bracelet, and just like that, you have another sale.

Instead of settling for just one sale, you decide to follow the sales process over a period of time to establish a relationship with Sarah.

1. The day of the sale: Say thank you.

A simple email will do, but be polite and sincere.

  • You would say: “Hi Sarah, thank you for your purchase! It was a pleasure working with you to find the perfect bracelet.”

2. When the product ships: Include a handwritten note in the package.

The key is specificity. Bringing up parts of your conversation will really give your note a personal touch.

  • You would say: “Your bracelet is here! I know it will look beautiful on you. I hope you enjoy your friend’s wedding! Here is my contact information if you ever need anything.”

NOTE: If you sell a product that is given to the customer the day of (no shipping is involved) and you don’t have time to put a handwritten note in, pre-write a note. It will be harder to make the note personal, but your handwriting alone will still show the customer that you took the time and effort to reach out to them.

3. One week after the customer receives the product: Send a follow-up email.

A follow-up email is a subtle reminder that you exist. Asking a question will increase your chances of starting another conversation with the customer.

  • You would say: “Hi Sarah, I hope the bracelet was shipped to you in perfect condition. How does everything look?”

4. One month after the customer receives the product: Offer a discount on the next purchase.

A small discount, anywhere from 10 to 15%, will entice your customers and give them a reason to come back.

  • You would say: “Hi Sarah! I don’t know if you saw this or not, but there’s a beautiful necklace that matches your bracelet! If you’d like to complete the set, I’ll offer you a 15% discount on your next purchase.”

5. Anytime after the customer receives the product: Offer a loyalty program.

Loyalty programs have been proven to build customer loyalty and improve retention rates. They give your customers a reason to stick with you for a long time by working toward a long-term goal. Many companies’ loyalty programs involve earning points or stamps in return for a bigger reward over a long period of time.

  • You would say: “Hi Sarah! Good news: we offer a cleaning service for our jewelry. If you purchase 10 cleanings, you’ll get the 11th one free! Even better news: your first one is complimentary, and it will still count toward your 10 cleanings.”

While this schedule isn’t set in stone, following the general outline will really help you to stay in touch with your customers over time. Instead of a one-time sale, your customers will grow to love and stay with you!

Worried about coming off as annoying to your customers? Read the follow-up article to this post.

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