Cultivating customer loyalty is a vital facet of being a successful sales professional. We’re talking genuine loyalty, which is a step or two beyond doing perfunctory, cursory check-ins while you prospect for new contacts.
Both during and after this COVID-19 situation, maintaining your connections and being genuinely empathetic will earn you halo effect. Here are some tips for cultivating customer loyalty even in challenging times.
- You need to offer prompt and excellent customer service. Now is the time to get proactive about making it easy for customers to do business with you.
- Keep prices low or help your customer reduce costs.Now, I’m not implying you should put yourself on a slippery slope, but if you can reduce costs and pass those savings along to your customers, that would be a definite plus.
- Share money-saving tips with your customers. You will get bonus points for this. If you come across anything else that can be useful to your customer, feel free to share that as well, even if it simply links to a helpful article or research that relates to their business.
- Reinforce your value proposition. These check-ins are an opportunity to talk about non-utility cost or non-financial benefits they get from doing business with you. It’s also an appropriate time to bring additional value to a transaction. Put your cards on the table.
- Be mindful about which customers are in crisis. These are the ones you want to check in with and show support, regardless of whether you get a sale or not. You should be assessing their particular situation and offering something useful. Even if a sale can’t be made immediately, you can foster goodwill and plant seeds that may help you fill your pipeline going forward.
- Also, keep an eye on those who aren’t in crisis. Some companies went into this pandemic with surpluses of millions or even billions of dollars. These are the customers that you should be contacting as well, since they have more flexibility in their budgets and perhaps more bandwidth to undertake improvements.
- Think about cross-selling. If you’ve sold someone lighting, you might consider offering them lighting controls. If someone has a green agenda, you might recommend they consider renewable energy options, such as solar. Cross-selling could be deployed through your own company or your coopetition.
- Utilize internal champions. If you have strong ties with individuals within certain customer organizations, they might be the ones who would be most effective at advancing your initiatives and securing the executive attention and capital needed to get your projects approved. Relationships can go a long way in moving things forward, particularly in situations like these where there may be more influencers and decision-makers who have to agree before any project wins approval.