They bought the house, and you have your commission check in your hot little hand. Why not say “Bye, Bye” to that customer?
Well, first of all, real estate and all businesses are based on long term relationships. People know people, and meet new ones and can refer you, or even become your friend.
In fact, my art director bought a home from a lady named Christy. He’s been happy there, and she’s kept in touch with him. Last Christmas, she even came to his door with a lovely holiday plant. He invited her in, and remembered that his neighbor across the street had mentioned they were relocating to California.
So, he called up his friend, made the introduction right on the spot. She walked across the street and got the listing, and sold the home quickly.
How many sales do we all lose, because we forget to follow up with past customers. We’re always on a quest for new ones, and those old ones are right under our collective noses.
Take a look at your database and get back in touch with some of those past friends, and see what develops. Good luck and let me know what happens.
I recently attended a DMIX (Direct Marketing Idea Exchange) luncheon and the speaker was the President of a large catalog company. She was kind enough to give us each a gift car d to buy something in her catalog.
There was a book in there I wanted, so I ordered it. First they sent me a letter, saying my book was delayed. Then they sent another letter (3 weeks later), and said it was on back order, and they’d let me know when it came in.
Months later, I wrote to her about this, and the book came flying to me FEDEX from Amazon (not her company).
She made it right, but only because I was in her industry and write a lot of articles, etc.
Afterward, they should have written and told me they were sorry about the delay in my shipment.
Meanwhile, we’re working on a hospitality client’s business at my office, and deployed a huge email campaign with an error in the offer.
I called the client, and said we have to write to all of them immediately and say we’re sorry and correct our mistake. I sent an OOOPs! email, and we received so many orders right away. In fact, a much higher response than we’d had in many months.
We apologized quickly. We gave them a good offer. We also appeared like real human beings who make mistakes.
So, they forgave us, and bought a lot from us.
When my Dad owned a jewelry manufacturing company in New York City, buyers would come into the showroom and look at his current season’s merchandise.
That showroom was really beautiful, a lot prettier than our own living room at home. There were plush couches and ottomans, and sparkling showcases with
figurines in them. Black velvet showed off his costume jewelry.
One time I asked him why he had such a fancy place, when we needed a new couch (so I could show off to my friends too).
He said that “you have to make your best customers feel special”. When you stop doing that, they start buying elsewhere. Actually, the relationship regresses and when you see the person again, there is an awkwardness. This happens when companies start changing who they think their target market really is.
I think that happened with Chico’s. They sell women’s clothes, and had lycra kinds of outfits in black and other colors that were easy to coordinate. I bought them all the time, because they don’t crease in my suitcase, and I can put them in the washing machine.
Then Chico’s started going after a younger demographic. They added linen clothes to their racks, and the Southwestern look that might attract new customers. What happened? They lost me, for sure, and lots of women like me who travel all the time.
Who wants a Southwestern look in New York City?
So, consider who your best customers are, treat them very well, and don’t go in some weird direction…hoping to find more customers, and then alienating me (a power shopper)!
When I give a speech at an event, I usually enjoy the talk, interact with my audience, and generally have fun. Afterwards, I get barraged with people giving me their business cards, and asking me for things…business, introductions, free books…even once a life insurance policy. All this happens in first five minutes as I’m walking (usually hobbling carefully in high heels) down from the stage.
So, it is always especially refreshing when someone offers me something to help ME. That happened last night at our Board meeting. I’d mentioned we were looking for new office space, and after the meeting…Alex came up to me and told me that there is lots of very nice space in his building, and he’d get me the name of the manager and phone number, if I wanted. It was a nice gesture, with no ulterior motive on his part. And, I appreciated it.
The same thing happens on networking sites, like Twitter. Some people are forever hawking their products, and they do it every hour. Others provide value, like John Kremer. He sent me his Marketing Book Tip of the Week, and it is full of information for me. I never market any of my books, but he gave me some ideas I will try.
He also offers a Twitter Mania Manual, a full downloadable book you can get an use and it is full of great ideas. So You try it…give first, and then maybe give again…and good tings will begin to happen.
John Kremer, you’re great!
At my agency, we used to work primarily on direct mail programs and they worked for our clients. We rolled out huge mailings for Chase, American Express and lots of others clients. Then mailings got more costly, and we were paying more for each customer we were bringing in.
So, we started testing mail, then obtaining email addresses. We tested emailing people to visit us on Facebook, and then gave them special offers there. Little by little, over the last few years, we’ve gone from a direct mail agency, to an online group that builds websites, maintains the relationships our clients have iwth their customers via social media…and are testing some great new strategies. We’re having fun.
If we’d stayed in our old niche, we probably wouldn’t be growing as fast.
Then I read a piece about Newsweek reinventing itself in The New York Times. Their transformation is amazing: a new, smaller format, interesting new design…and a more afluent readership. They aren’t going to cover the big events any more (like the U.S. Airways flight that glided into the Hudson River). They are gambling on an audience that will pay more for a new “offbeat take” on events. Will it work?
Time will tell.
He was saying, that he hasn’t seen it pay out for anyone.
I mentioned that it takes time to build relationships and the people that hawk their sales all the time will never win. He thinks that it might be a “flash in the pan”.
Then I read about a great Twitter Pizza in the Pan story on a blog, and it said that… Naked Pizza has been blogging and trading stories on Twitter. They decided to find out at the register if it was actually helping them make sales.
So on April 25th, they worked on tracking and found out that 15% of the day’s business came from Twitter. Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim tells the story best. Read all about it.
See, I told you so, Dwain! I’m a Twitterite.
In the speedy way we work now, I get an email, respond in a second, and sometimes don’t take the time to think.
That happened to me last week, when I was invited to speak in Europe at a conference, and I was on a conference call, and perhaps my response was a bit curt. The sponsor of the event thought I was mean…and didn’t even appreciate her offer (which I did). I’ve been wanting to speak in Prague for a while, and when the invite came in…I just blattered out my questions. And, she was gone. I missed out, and felt awful about it.
My Mom used to say, “think before you speak”, and if you’re angry, “sleep on it” before responding. You’ll feel altogether different in the morning. And, I usually do that. When the poor Prague woman wrote, I didn’t.
Joe Biden also had a foot in the mouth disease last week when he accidentally blurted out that there is a secret bunker under the old U.S. Naval Academy. That is the bunker where they hid Cheney, when 9/11 happened. Well, it is not a secret anything anymore. If only he’d thought,, waited, considered before he said it. Michelle Malkin talks about it on her blog today
Guess we should all think about this on Twitter and Facebook… and email.