Getting the 2nd yes

The first time a new customer trots into a retailer, (s)he’s making dozens of tiny judgments. Judgments about the layout of the store, the friendliness of the staff, the quality of the selection, the prices, the ease of getting out the door, and dozens more.

These are all rolled up into a bigger meta-judgment that, in part, determines whether they want to come back a second time, or not.

Most businesses look at getting the first sale as all important. So all the attention, marketing and creativity is focused on that job. Then, satisfied the job has been done, they promptly ignore the buyer who said “yes” once … and try to get another “first sale.”

This is foolish.

A step up is recognizing getting the buyer back for a second purchase is a vastly more profitable endeavor, and being an aggressive marketer in the gap.

Someone buys from you once?

They get a follow-up phone call, a postcard with a coupon for new clients, a voice broadcast inviting them to a special event. All good.

But the quantum leap occurs when everything about your business is designed to move a short-term, scattered-attention buyer into a long-term relationship. Not just what most folks think of as marketing, but the structure of the offers you make. The layout of the store. What’s included with a consulting contract. What “extras” ride along with every purchase. And more.

It’s why one of my most-repeated questions to clients is: “WHAT’S NEXT?”

Because most just don’t think that far ahead. But the most successful always will.

When someone buys from you once, what is the next thing you want to have happen?

And has everything up until that point been engineered to make it happen?

Think about it…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous April 6, 2005 at 4:04 pm

I was reading something in another of my many books (The E-Myth Manager) about this very thing—creating repeat business.  It said the absolute WORST thing you can ask a new customer is, “Can I help you?”

Of course the response is going to be, “No thanks.  I’m just looking.”

The book goes on to say that salesperson greetings have got to change this question to a more proactive one—“Hi.  Have you been here before?” This provides a better opportunity to show the new customer around, familiarize him/her with your products/services, and generally draw him/her in for future sales and repeat business—make them a friend rather than a one-off piece of meat commission.

I know this book I read is outdated, and I don’t even have a desire to go into business for myself, but I wanted to know what this e-myth thing was about.  You never know…one day, I might change my mind and decide to take a stab at it.  The 80/20 Principle books are also a very good read, and have helped this housewife streamline her kitchen operations immensely—I guess you never really know where “business” takes place.

It’s all in the attitude and how you look at things, I guess.

Reply

2 Anonymous April 6, 2005 at 9:04 pm

I was reading something in another of my many books (The E-Myth Manager) about this very thing—creating repeat business.  It said the absolute WORST thing you can ask a new customer is, “Can I help you?”
Of course the response is going to be, “No thanks.  I’m just looking.”
The book goes on to say that salesperson greetings have got to change this question to a more proactive one—“Hi.  Have you been here before?” This provides a better opportunity to show the new customer around, familiarize him/her with your products/services, and generally draw him/her in for future sales and repeat business—make them a friend rather than a one-off piece of meat commission.
I know this book I read is outdated, and I don’t even have a desire to go into business for myself, but I wanted to know what this e-myth thing was about.  You never know…one day, I might change my mind and decide to take a stab at it.  The 80/20 Principle books are also a very good read, and have helped this housewife streamline her kitchen operations immensely—I guess you never really know where “business” takes place.
It’s all in the attitude and how you look at things, I guess.

Reply

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