By Christopher Thompson
Published Sunday March 29th, 2009 – Union Leader NH Sunday News
For some strange and unknown reason, I was recently thinking about all of the sales people and companies I do business with on a routine basis. I was thinking about each company and sales person and doing my own personal assessment of how each one handled and managed the work we do together.
My thoughts took a detour and focused on whether or not I thought each individual actually appreciated my business. I also thought about the last time any of them have sincerely thanked me for my business. Please don’t ask me why my mind wasn’t thinking about other things and to answer your question, no this wasn’t happening on St. Patrick’s Day after a few beverages.
But think about that for a minute. Look at all of the companies and sales people you fork over money to and then ask yourself how many of them have shown appreciation for your decision to do business with them. My gut tells me your analysis will probably be similar to mine. I don’t think many of the businesses and sales people do. They might appreciate your business, but when was the last time they told you that or did anything to indicate their appreciation of your decision to do business with them.
I know this topic sounds a bit elementary. It is after all sales and business 101. Let your customers know their business is important and always thank them for their decision to do business with you. But how often does that actually happen? Not enough in my opinion.
So what is the big deal? Why is it so important for your customers to know how much you appreciate their business? The answer is simple. If you don’t, they will likely find someone who does. And when they do, you will be an afterthought.
When someone chooses to do business with you, the reasons vary, but ultimately you as a sales person have an obligation to ensure the customer is taken care of and 100% satisfied. Part of that responsibility involves doing everything you can to make the customer truly understand that you recognize the many options they have. You recognize their options and you need to ensure they feel good about their decision to do business with you.
Here are a few suggestions on ways to thank your customer for their business and prove to them their decision was the right one.
Thank Them Often
This is so simple, yet so often overlooked. When was the last time someone actually thanked you for your business? Thanking someone for their business takes all of 2.5 seconds and goes a very long way. Make sure you are genuine and your efforts are sincere.
Remind Them How Important Their Business Is
Few initiatives are more powerful than high-level executives and CEO’s contacting their best customers to thank them for their business and engaging the customer in dialogue to gather feedback. Of course the appreciation statements are critical, but this task alone truly shows how important their business is to your company.