By Joe Legato, Bill & Rod’s Appliances & Mattresses

Congratulations, you closed the deal!

You got the lead, you found a fit for the client, they are taking delivery, and you are confident they are totally satisfied with everything they have just purchased. Now it is time to move on to the next deal. Or is it?

Let’s be honest: I know I have spent a lot of time qualifying the customer and thinking that I have anticipated all their needs. Truth is, I have no way of knowing for sure – until I hear from them months or even years later that they never actually liked what they bought once they got it home. That is why the post-sale follow up is so vital in a world where service is what defines you.

Why follow up with the customer?

Following up does as much good for the customer as it does for the sales associate. First it builds on the relationship that was started at the time of the sale. Sending a “thank you” via text, email, phone, or postcard shows that you care that they chose to be your customer. In addition, let them know you are available for any questions they may have. This should be done the day after they take delivery of goods or receive the services that you offer.

After the first month call or email the customer to ensure they are satisfied with their product or service. It is here that they may have additional questions that were not asked right away, and it is your chance to hone your technique to ensure you are doing your part on the front side of the sale. You may even offer services or other products related to their purchase that will enhance their experience. Before doing this though, be certain they are satisfied with what they have; otherwise you’ll seem more like a pushy salesperson than a helpful friend.

Be their problem solver, a liaison for getting things done. Set them up for service or do an onsite visit if needed to ensure that the customer understands the operation of the product they have purchased. When you know that your customer is satisfied, remind them that they can always reach out to you for other needs, as you know many people that can help them in a variety of areas. According to Rieva Lesonsky, Founder/CEO of GrowBiz Media, this will cement in the customer’s mind that you are their advocate and a source for solutions.

How to formulate the follow-up.

When you conduct a follow up to a sale it should follow kind of a procedure. I am not saying to make it a rigid, “Mad Libs”-style letter where you plug in names and products, but rather something that is easy to follow and can be tailored to your customer. This ensures the right questions are being asked and appropriate services are being offered at the right time, and that you are not skipping tough critiques if the customer is unhappy.

Consider the following when developing your follow-up procedure:

  • How soon after the sale is made should you conduct the first and second follow-ups?
  • Which communications methods, i.e., phone, email, text or postcard, should be used for each step of the follow-up process?
  • Draw up a broad framework of questions to ask when following up with the customer to allow for tailoring to the individual.

Include in the follow up:

  • A personal “thank you” for choosing to work with you;
  • A video showing how to use the product or tips on how to get the most out of their new purchase;
  • An invitation to join your company’s social media network and write a positive review if their experience was stellar;
  • Related products or services that may provide ways to enhance their product experience.

What’s in it for me?

The art of the follow up is what continues to strengthen your relationship with your customers and create future sales. Reuben Yonatan, Founder/CEO of GetVoIP, put it this way: “Focus on relationship building when you follow up and the sales will naturally flow.”

In the end, by following up you will be showing your customer that you trust your product and that they can trust you to take care of them. This trust will pay dividends through repeat business and referrals. So follow up with your customers and happy selling!

Joe Legato is Chief Operating Officer
of Bill & Rod’s Appliance Inc.
in Livonia, Mich.

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