3 quick tips for customer nurturing
Chris Whife 21st October 2016
So you’ve landed a fantastic new client and you’re hoping to turn them into a long-term customer who will keep buying from you, upgrading and cross-purchasing, creating a fairly reliable income stream for you. You’ve heard it’s a good idea to keep in touch with customers, so you start sending them a steady stream of product info and special offers, and making calls every week to check if they want to buy something based on your emails.
Soon, you start noticing how the client isn’t taking your calls, and you’re not getting read receipts on your emails anymore. What’s gone wrong? You’ve made such an effort to keep in touch! Isn’t this what customer nurturing is about?
Well, not exactly. There’s a fairly clear line between nurturing and bothering your clients, and sending constant sales-related messaging falls squarely into the latter category. Customer nurturing is about building a relationship with your customer and keeping it active, so that when they do need something from you, they will turn to you immediately. But creating this relationship can be tricky, especially when your goal is, at the end of the day, to sell.
1 – Get to know your customer
This comes up a lot, I know, but that’s because it’s actually pretty crucial to sales success. When it comes to nurturing, it means getting to really know them in-depth. Of course, we’re not talking about stalker-level intimate knowledge here, but it does help to find out things like their birthday, a few personal interests and hobbies – things that make it clear you see them as a person, not just a sale.
Connect with your customers on social media – preferably business social, like LinkedIn, or Twitter, and use these media to find out what you can about their tastes, beliefs, and ways of doing business. Talk to them after a meeting, pay attention to your surroundings and ask them questions. Most people have a little personal touch in their workspace and you can learn a lot. The better you know your customer, the better you will be able to nurture them.
2 – Plan your interactions
Just because you’ve found out that John loves Irish Whiskey, doesn’t mean you should constantly send him memes about whiskey, invites to tastings and other whiskey-related messaging, but it does mean you could send him an interesting article you read on the subject.
Take time and plan how often you will communicate, what kind of communicating you will do, and whether it will be personal or business-related. If you do happen to find something that is of interest to them – for example an article on an industry related to theirs that could be relevant to them, take a few minutes to first craft an email telling them you thought they might find this useful. It shows that you not only understand their business, but that you actually bother to consider what might help them, outside of your normal sales.
3 – Social media is your friend
Follow your customers on LinkedIn and Twitter, but don’t be a stalker. If they say something particularly clever or pithy, go ahead and like or retweet it, or even comment, but make any comments well-thought out. You can also use this platform to share things they might find interesting, again, whether it’s business or personal.
But please, be careful with social media. Too many people have made a hasty comment about something that they’ve come to regret later.
Taking time to nurture a relationship will not only make your client feel like you are actually interested in them, but will open them up to the possibility of doing more business. Nurturing is about making sure the client remembers who you are, and associates you with being helpful and knowledgeable, and therefore their go-to person in times of need.