In my last entry “Because Nice Matters” I talked about why simply being nice is the ultimate home-business tool. Here are a few tried and true ways to charm your customers and gain a loyal following of home-business groupies.
1). Just be nice. Alright, I promise I am not trying to insult my readers by suggesting that you should just be nice. I simply feel it is worth a brief mention. When I was a direct sales consultant, I would often do parties when I really wasn’t in the mood. I had a bad day. My kids were cranky. I was exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was engage in idle chit-chat with a bunch of people I’d just met.
On especially crabby days, I would stop at a local fast-food joint and grab my favorite milkshake or an ice-cream cone. The sugar high alone helped put me in a different frame of mind. Therefore, if you just aren’t feeling nice before a sales presentation or public event do something nice for yourself and you can at least fake it for an hour or so.
2). Send handwritten notes. When is the last time you received a handwritten note from a business? Yes, we always receive cute little calendars, pens and greeting cards during the holidays, but even those are impersonal and typed. Handwritten notes say, “I took the time”. “I care.”
I am a big fan of a certain beer bread that is sold by a local direct sales representative. I’ll never forget the note I received from her the other day. “Traci, you would love this new dip that goes great with the beer bread you loved.” “ Wow, she remembered me!” I thought. (Mind you, she probably remembered that I was hovering over her booth scarfing down samples like I hadn’t eaten in months). Regardless, she cared…and I ordered more.
3). Make follow-up calls. Follow-up calls are simple, yet they are a tremendous sales tool. “Hi, Jane…I just wanted to see how that face lotion worked out for you?” Often your customer will say, “great, thank you for asking”…but even more often your customer will reply, “thanks so much for calling…I needed to reorder another bottle”. Follow up calls pay for two reasons. First, they remind your customer that you exist and second (if you time your call right) it will remind them that they need a refill.
Obviously there are many other ways that you can show your customers that you appreciate them. If you have some additional suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments section. In the meantime, check out these related blog entries: