5 Aug 2017
Anyone in business knows, it is hard to get a customer, but even harder to keep one. All too often I see Direct Sales consultants doing all the things their customers hate, driving them away from the products and services being offered. Take a look at the following list and see if YOU are running your customers off with your actions.
- Bombarding them with emails. Yes it is good to have a mailing list. Yes it is good to send out periodic updates, special deals, and opportunities, but when is it too much? There is no “perfect” amount of emails to send, so pay attention to your list statistics. If you start to see people unsubbing en masse, take a look at how much email is going out. No one likes a cluttered inbox! (Side note: also look at your read rate. Are your emails being opened or deleted unread?)
- Poor Writing. Not everyone was born with the ability to craft literary masterpieces. But that is no excuse for sending out communication with poor grammar and mechanics, misspelled words, and poor sentence structure. Take the time to edit your work, whether it be an article, blog post, social media post, or email. Your words speak volumes about you. If you don’t feel confident in your writing abilities, have someone else proofread for you or hire an editor from sites like Fiverr.
- Adding them without their consent. There is nothing worse than being added to a Facebook group and finding your feed flooded with sales posts. Customers also don’t like being added to mailing lists without their permission. Just because you made a sale and acquired an email address, you aren’t free to add them to your mailing list. Always invite and ask permission first.
- Slow response or no response. When a customer contacts you, they want an answer. And that answer needs to come in a timely manner. Respond as soon as possible to let thwm know you value their time and want to help them. If you don’t have an answer for them when they first reach out to you let them know you received their email and will respond shortly. Don’t forget to respond as soon as possible. If your customer feels they are not important enough to receive timely response, they will go elsewhere.
- Incorrect info. Your customer has come to you because they assume you are knowledgeable in your business. Giving them false information will only damage your credibility when they find out the truth behind what they were seeking. Know your products and services. Know the history behind it, research surrounding it, and benefits for using it.
- Misleading your customers. Similar to providing false information, misleading your customers can be just as damaging. Providing minimal information, leaving important details out, or purposely giving information that leads them to believe something other than the truth. For example, I used to sell health products and while they did work for the intended purposes, there were always claims for other things that improved, making it sound like a miracle cure all. Yet there is no scientific proof of the claims, just random customer testimonies. But I see countless reps praising the unintentional benefits of the product, which can be misleading, especially when a customer purchases expecting to see those things and then doesn’t necessarily experience them.
- Upselling. We are all in business to make money. Yes, you may find joy in helping others or educating them, but it generally always comes back to money. But even though you may want to try to bolster your sale by encouraging a better (and pricier) product or a complimenting addon, your customer doesn’t like this. On average, most direct sales and party plan products are higher prices, so adding in unwanted additional products may harm your business in the long run.
- Slow delivery. Sometimes you have no control over shipping and delivery, but when you DO have some control, be sure you are promote. Do not prolong entering party orders or delay in personally delivering something shipped directly to you. The longer you make them wait, the less likely they will order from you again. And if they are asking where their order is and you are unable to offer an adequate response, they will lose faith in you to deliver, thus damaging your reputation.
- Not listening. You have customers because you offer a solution to their problem. When you fail to listen, to truly hear what they are saying to you, you risk driving them away. Be attentive to their words and what they need, and truly listen. Don’t hear only what you want to hear or assume you know what they are saying. Take the time to truly listen.
- Poor customer service. Though your company may have a customer service department, you still have the responsibility of addressing their needs and assisting with customer concerns. By not helping your customer obtain the information they seek, you damage your own credibility as a seller. Be conscious of your customer’s needs and do your part to help them resolve any issues they have.
There are probably other ways you may be driving your customers away, so regularly evaluate your own business efforts and practices. Collect feedback from those you interact with, and make changes as you see need. The end result will be a stronger business, happier customers, and more satisfaction for a job well done.