Before retiring in 1977, the Guinness Book of World Records listed him as the “World’s Greatest Retail Salesman” for 12 consecutive years. I am referring to the car salesman Joe Girard, who sold an amazing 13,001 brand new cars in his 15 year career. Why do I mention this? I mention it because Joe’s success offers an important lesson. Joe Girard understood the power of relationships and staying in constant contact with his customers. He understood that relationships were everything in business.
People prefer to do business with someone they know, like, and trust. They would also only refer people to those they know, like, and trust. One of Joe Girard’s most powerful strategies was sending a personal greeting card to everyone who had ever bought a car from him every month. This may seem a little extreme, but I should point out that the second half of his career, Joe worked almost exclusively on word of mouth referrals.
Does generating strong customer loyalty and referrals require such an extreme approach? Research suggests that it doesn’t require quite that much zeal. Research indicates, however, that it takes more than just a good customer experience and an occasional sales flyer to build retention and generate referrals. You see, people love to feel appreciated. They love to feel important. In addition, people like people who appreciate them and make them feel important.
When you remember to say “Thank you”, you make customers feel appreciated and important. When you remember to wish them a happy birthday, they feel appreciated and important. When you take the time to remember them on a holiday, they feel appreciated and important. When you invite them to an event you are sponsoring, you make them feel appreciated and important. I think you see the pattern.
How can my shop increase retention and referrals?
What does it take to build customer retention and generate referrals? Over the years, we at SendOutCards, have found that a simple 5 touch campaign, following an 80-20 rule, can have huge results in customer retention and business generated through referrals. The 80-20 rule simply states that 80% of the time, our message to our customers should be about them. Only 20% of the time it should be about us (promotions, sales, etc). For example, a customer might receive an initial thank you card. Then later, a birthday card, a holiday card, and a random “thinking of you” card. Finally, they should receive a reminder card of all the services you offer with a small “reward” for mentioning the card.
Let’s face facts. You spend a lot of time, money and effort to bring in a new customer. Are you doing everything you can to keep them? Are you putting as much effort into retention that you do into attracting new customers? Most businesses have a goldmine hidden in their existing customer database. You may be wondering “how can I effectively tap into that hidden goldmine?” At Turnaround Tour ShopPros, we highly recommend a system called SendOutCards. Taking advantage of its many features, like the campaign feature, can make following up, staying in touch and mastering your relationship marketing easy, convenient and cost effective.
Contact us today to find out about this revolutionary system. A team member will contact you and answer your questions. We will even take you on a test drive of the system. Find out why so many are calling SendOutCards the best relationship marketing platform on the market.