Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting in touch with your Urban Botanic customers after time has passed

Great advice from The Success Factory:

I have been in business nearly 3 years now, and to be honest, I haven't kept in touch with my customers as well as I should have from the beginning. I am a young consultant, and as I have grown and learned with my business, I now understand the importance of keeping in touch with customers, both for keeping bookings going and for outside sales.So my question is how do you go about re-connecting with people you LITERALLY haven't spoken to in 2 1/2 years!? Thanks!Lynsey

Dear Lynsey,
Thank you for your great email. We applaud you for the HONEST assessment you have made of your business. Clearly you are destined for success as you are being very smart in analyzing your business practices and adjusting them as needed…good for you!

Your question is one that many of us in direct sales have struggled with at one time or another. Anyone who has been in business for at least a year probably has a literal `treasure trove' of leads floating in various places around their office. We meet 8-10 new people at every party we do, we meet people at fairs and festivals, we have outside orders from parties and usually names and addresses of potential customers who were unable to attend a party. Dealing with the guilt of not having properly stayed in touch with these people is what can eat us up and also what can keep us OFF the phone. How does one go about re-connecting with people who may not even remember us or our company?

First and foremost - stop over thinking the process. Stop the `what if' conversation that is happening in your head. It is time for action and time for honesty! The action - pick up the phone. The honesty - say what you fear most. Be prepared to share what is new and exciting about your company - that is the purpose of your call.

Here's a possible script to get you started:
Hi Sharon - this is Lynsey calling (pause). I am not sure at all that you will remember me - we met at Suzie Q's house over two years ago - I was the consultant who did her home party for (insert your company name here). (pause)…

The reason for my call is two fold - first of all - I have to admit to you that I was really hesitating to pick up the phone and call after all this time. I am so sorry that I have neglected being in touch - will you accept my apology? (pause and wait for reply).

I'm looking at your order form from Suzie Q's party and although it's been awhile, I wanted to be sure that you were happy with our products that you purchased. (pause and wait for reply). Deal with any product issues if necessary and then continue…

I am very excited about two things right now - do you have just a really quick moment for me to share with you? (Continue and keep it brief! Since it's been so long - impress on her the fact that you have tons of new products since she last was at Suzie Q's house…quickly what your current favorite is and then offer the chance for her to have a fun evening with friends and have the opportunity to see all the new products by hosting a party.

Assure her that Suzie Q should be at the top of her guest list because SHE will want to see all the new products as well!). Wrap up by quickly booking a party and (if she lives close enough) delivering the packet in person so you can show her a few of the new items to re-excite her. If she is not wanting to host at the moment be sure to end the call with…

Just so I don't blow it again - can I just find out from you when and how often you might like to hear from me again? I can contact you in the summer when we have a sale or in the fall when we get our new products again - which sounds better to you? (obviously - fill in your company specifics here - the point is to give her a choice rather than to give her the chance to reply with a “I'll call you if I need anything”…because reality is, she probably will not call.)

Hopefully this script has helped as a `thought starter' for those of you procrastinators out there. The point is this - go `treasure hunting' on your desk - you never know what jewels you might uncover. The best part of just picking up the phone and getting started with this activity is that you will soon find your desk cleaner and your conscience clearer! Happy hunting!

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