If you have an interaction of any kind with a prospect – even if he or she tells you “no” the first time, that lead is worth capturing and has value. You must learn to leverage that connection for:
- • Future business
• New product offering more compatible with his or her needs
• Referral or recommendation to reach another prospect
If you do business – even once – with a customer it is critical to the life of your business that you have a plan in place to do more business even if it is a different product. You must have a system for follow up. That’s the value of a good CRM tool.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management – or a CRM is a tool for gathering name, contact information and recording every interaction with prospects and customers. One of the most important things you can do with the prospect or customer entry into the CRM software is to add a next action item with an assigned date. Recording every action and result will give insight on how to convert from prospect to customer and make a sale.
Action is the foundational key to all success.
-Anthony Robbins: American self-help author and motivational speaker
What will you ACT on today? How will you record your actions for evaluation and leverage? Entering your leads into a CRM tool will allow you to EVALUATE and LEVERAGE your actions. This strategic technology will help you better understand your customers’ needs, how you can meet those needs and enhance your bottom line at the same time. The idea behind CRM is that it will help you gain insight into the behavior and the value of your customers.
With an effective CRM strategy, you can increase revenue by:
• Providing services and products that are exactly what your customers want
• Offering better customer service
• Cross selling products more effectively
• Helping sales staff close deals faster
• Retaining existing customers and discovering new ones
If you have a POS or Point of Sale System then you have a built-in CRM (or it should). This is one of the most valuable business management tools your business can have.
Record Every Activity – Every Prospect, Every Customer
I recommend that you record every activity with that customer, not just every sale. If the customer has a request for a particular product or service – record that in the CRM. If the customer has a complaint or service issue, record that in the CRM. If the prospect or customer changes jobs or positions within a job – record that in the CRM. All of this can be evaluated periodically for a wealth of information about your customers which are the life blood of your business.
Your Existing Customers are Your Competitors Prospects
Many business owners think that once they’ve done business with a customer, then that customer will keep coming back. While it may be true that the customer has every intention of continuing to do business with you – just remember your competitors are still prospecting. You can spend far less on repeat business than on new customer acquisition if you properly use the information you track about your relationship with your existing customers. You will also be more effective converting new prospects to loyal customers if you begin the recording of the relationship process from the first encounter.