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The Sales Process

 

Step Six: Follow-Up and Service after the Sale

Congratulations! You've made the sale. Now what? Some sales people believe that follow-up after the sale is just as important as making the sale. That's when your relationship with a customer really takes hold.

Building long-term relationships with customers allows you to leverage or make additional use of your initial investment of time and money spent selling to that customer. In other words, you don't have to spend time prospecting, qualifying and conducting other pre-sales activities for that particular customer again.

You've heard it before: "There's no better advertising than a satisfied customer." Good follow-up and service after the sale will:

  • establish and maintain your good reputation,
  • build goodwill among customers and in the community,
  • and most importantly, generate repeat and referral business.

Finally, a few more tips to help you:

  • Continuously improve your sales skills, learn from others and stay open to new ideas.
  • Be sincere about your desire to help the prospect first–make money your secondary objective. This attitude will come through in every encounter and will help you build long-term relationships.
  • Make yourself a value-added resource. Become indispensable. Make industry news updates, creative ideas, and business advice part of the service you offer.
  • Be direct with your communication. Beating around the bush only frustrates people. Answer all questions. Never patronize.
  • Enclose your business card with every letter and note.
  • Thank people who refer prospects to you. If the referral results in business, send a thank-you gift also. (Make the gift appropriate for the value of the referral. Free or discounted services from you is often a welcomed gift.)
  • Give your customers your home phone number. Your phone will seldom ring, but the gesture will make a great impression.
  • Never lie. Don't badmouth the competition or say negative things about their clients.

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