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Learn about the 6 ways to increase your profits and to grow your business here

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Your greatest asset - Are your customers

Your existing customers are your best prospects! So if you have been putting all your cash and efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and start to divert some of your resources into reselling and up selling to your existing customers.

As customers are your number one asset the relationship you have with them is important and you can secure customer relations by:

- Post purchase reassurance - Every time one of your customers places an order with you call then within a week of the sale to make sure that they are happy with their purchase. Check that they are happy with the product or service. This will serve to counter any post-purchase discontentment and to obtain feedback on the company's products and services and where necessary improve thereon.

- Preferential pricing and discounts - Give your oldest customers the best deals first and make sure they are awarded with loyalty bonuses. Where you have a sale, give them first opportunity to buy at the reduced rates.

- Keeping in touch - this can be by seeing them in person or on the telephone and of course by email or letter. This will make sure that your customers feel special and wanted. Remembering birthdays and Christmas is important and will lead to good relations.

- Build trust - Honest contact with your customers builds rapport and leads to trust and leads to long-term client relationships. People like doing business with ethical companies that they can trust.

Keep an accurate and timely customer list - invest in a good database package. For example Maximizer and Goldmine are two very well respected Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs. Using these programs you will be able to keep a track of all your customers in an efficient way.

I have many a time come across companies that do not hold records of their customers. What they had failed to recognise is that they were missing out on their biggest asset - existing customers that could be re-sold to or upgraded. You can pay thousands for potential client lists, so guard yours with pride and look after the list and always keep it up-to-date.

Please note: Customers have bought from you one and if they had a good experience the first time, then they will buy from you again!

An excellent approach to adopt is to treat others how you like to be treated - translated in to a business sense - Treat your customers in a way that you would like to be treat, if you were a customer of your company - always try to put yourself in the customers shoes.

We have all been treated badly by companies and equally we have received excellent service. both of these two extremes you will remember, but for quite different reasons. Most likely, where you have received a shoddy service you will not go back again and you will likely tell others not to both either! However, where you have been given an exceptional service you are very likely to return and to be more than happy to recommend this company to others.

Therefore, treating customers well has a snowball effect:

1. Customers will return themselves to buy more;

2. Customers will refer yet more customers;

3. The referred customers will refer even more customers... etc. etc.

Reinforce the buyers buying decision

By writing to your customer within a week of their purchase and thanking them for purchasing from you and in confirming the value of the company will help to reinforce their buying decision. And by maintaining contact with your customers will make it easier for them to either purchase more products or services or to be up-sold.


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