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The Secret To Winning More Sales In Less Time

Most surveys show the average business loses about 19% of its client base each year. In fact, the authors of, “Customer Winback: How To Recapture Lost Customers – and Keep Them Loyal” estimates the average at 20 to 40% per year.

This means that if you have 500 customers and lose 19% or 95 customers you must get 95 new customers each year just to stay even.

Research shows it costs six times more to get a prospect to buy from you than it does to keep an existing customer, and it's 16 times easier to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.

So why would you spend any marketing dollars on new prospects before doing everything you can to get more business from your existing and past clients? Let me repeat that, “Why would you spend any marketing dollars on new prospects before doing everything you can to get more business from your existing and past clients?”

The truth is that the real money to be made by most businesses is from additional sales of products and services to their existing customers and those they refer. Getting repeat and referral business is something most small business owners are not proficient in.

If you want your business to be successful, you need to have a compelling reason, “Why should your customers and prospects do business with you, rather than your competition”? You need to become someone they will gladly and often refer new customer prospects to!

The one strategy that can do more for building your business than just about anything else you can do and the most overlooked marketing tool by almost every business is “Follow Up”!

You need to immediately put in place a strategy and an effective system to follow up with:
- Existing Customers
- Past Customers
- Potential Customers or Prospects

Since it costs six times more to get a new customer to buy from you, it just makes sense to spend much of your time, effort and money on strengthening your relationships with your existing customers and turning them into referral machines for you.

In developing a follow up system for your customers and prospects, you need to determine:
- The number of times you want to contact them and over what period of time
- The frequency of contact. For example, every two month plus on their birthday
- The method of contact. Will you send a greeting card, post card or letter? Research has shown that a greeting card will get opened 12 times more often that other types of mail.
- Determine the purpose of the contact. Will you be thanking them for buying from you, making them a special offer or asking for a referral?

A study done by the Association of sales Executives revealed that 81% of all sales happen on or after the fifth contact. If you’re only doing one or two follow up’s, imagine all the business you are losing. Not following up with your customers and prospects is like filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain!

Here’s an example of an eight contact follow up system you could put in place in your business, modify it to meet your business needs:
1. When they buy from you – send a “Thank You” card
2. January – send a “New Years” card
3. March – send an Item-of-Value or Special Offer letter
4. May – send a “Referral Request” card
5. July – send a “Fourth of July” card
6. September – send an Item-of-Value or Special Offer letter
7. November – send a “Referral Request” card
8. Birthday – send a “Birthday” card

According to the Guinness book of World Records the Greatest Salesman of all time was Joe Girard. During his fifteen year selling career, he sold 13,001 cars … an amazing feat. What was his secret? Greeting Cards! Every month, every person who had ever bought a car from him got a greeting card. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, or the person’s birthday ... Joe was a greeting card sending machine!

With today’s technology it’s not necessary to spend your time doing it manually like Joe and his assistants did! On the Internet there are online card sending services where you can send “REAL” physical full color glossy greeting cards, mailed with a real stamp, from your computer. The one I use has a ton of features, like being able to set up automatic mailing campaigns. And, it’s very inexpensive at $1.37 a greeting card, which includes postage.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 70% of homebuyers said they would use their real estate agent again. However, only 11% reported buying through the real estate agent they had used before. Why? Because clients haven’t heard from them and they assumed the agent didn’t want to do business with them.

Whatever your product or service, don’t let that happen to you!

Commit to putting in place a system to insure continual automatic follow up to your customers and prospects. Your business depends on it!

By Joel Weiner, Profit Wizard
As published in “Money & Profits Magazine”
More free 'Business Building' articles at

Views: 7

Comment by Sue Copening on February 9, 2009 at 9:53pm

Joel... thanks so much for contributing such a great article! I especially liked the part about REALTORS at the end. That is SO true. AND... that is one of the reasons more and more Realtors are integrating the "Money Merge Account" by UFIRST into their real estate business. It gives a really compelling reason to contact that old/existing client base... AND a way to turn those client into an additional income stream NOW... without having to wait till they can buy a new home. With the coming "depression" and the decline in home values, the normal 5-7 sales cycle for home sales is going to be extended... perhaps even doubled, as people won't have the equity, or the financial resources to get that next house. However, by showing a client how they can build equity much more quickly... Realtors create 5 benefits... 1) they have a reason to reach out to existing and past clients - thus creating an opportunity for referrals. 2) they create an income stream by selling those clients the Money Merge Account software system 3) they put a financial tool in the clients hands that will help them build equity rapidly (a big "plus" for people who are trapped by negative equity) as well as saving years off their mortgage and thousands of dollars in interest, 4) they can actually hire telemarketers - which don't cost them a penny - because they are paid out of UFIRST commissions, ...AND... 5) they can turn their clients, and other industry professionals, into "referral partners" and legally compensate them with money - from the UFIRST commissions.

Of course.. a lot of the above holds true also for mortgage brokers, financial planners and insurance professionals... the Money Merge Account integrates into those businesses perfectly too.

I also realize that you were mentioning the company SEND OUT CARDS (I think that was who you meant, right?) for a way to set up clients on a "auto-pilot" system of sending out real cards to keep you in the front of people's minds. I agree that this is a great idea... I signed up for Send Out Cards myself... and find it is a great, and super EASY way to reach out to clients. One "trick" I like about send out cards too is this.... You meet someone at a networking event that you really want to get the attention of. I will get someone to take a picture of them and myself together using my iPhone (or I will just take a photo of them), either way, when I get back to the office, I can send them a card.. in the mail... and I use the "photo plus" feature to include the photo I just took of us at the event. Talk about "standing out" can bet that no one else sent them that and they will certainly notice a nice photo of themselves... and hang onto it. If you are in the photo too... they can't help but remember you the next time you meet.

How do you like that idea? (you can steal it - it works great!)

Comment by James Wilson(brad) on February 10, 2009 at 11:11pm
A successful salesman related to me about the 80/20 factor, that is 80%
of your business comes from 20% of the core customer base. Moral is, Cater to these people.
Comment by Sue Copening on February 11, 2009 at 1:29am
EXACTLY.... if you put the right strategies in place you can turn your existing client base into a "marketing arm" for your business. Sadly, a lot of businesses work harder to get new clients... then to keep, or increase revenues of existing clients. Restaurants are notoriously famous for this. How many restaurants have you been in where a manager came up to chat and asked your for your business card? I had this one restaurant years ago that I ate in once a week for a year. The owner never even asked our names. They are no longer in business. On the other hand... I did PR & Marketing for a Restaurant years ago and we paid our servers $3 for the business card of a local customer who was not already in our database. Within 6 months we had a huge database of customers and if we thought it was going to be a slow weekend we would get on the phone and CALL them. It's amazing how easily you can pack a 450 seat restaurant with a few messages on peoples answering machines and some free drinks.
Comment by Joel Weiner on February 11, 2009 at 8:02am
Yes, Send Out Cards is a great way to stand out & use 'drip' marketing. A targeted prospect/customer list made up of your best customers should be the goal of all businesses. More ideas in future posts.


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