The Thank-You Note Theory
by Coach Rick Plasket – MBA
Remember the last thank-you note you got from a business? Why not? It’s because so few business owners send them.
I have a theory, and I have seen it proven again and again. It’s also made so many companies so much money, that it literally blows me away how few ever use it.
Think about this … Who is your top prospect to buy from you tomorrow? That’s right, the people who bought from you yesterday, your current customers!
And that’s where my theory kicks in.
You see over the years, several reports have shown that most companies ignore my theory and spend 6 or 7 times more on chasing new customers than they do on getting past customers back.
And yet, the majority of profit in any company comes from repeat business. Without repeat business a company will always struggle to grow and make profits.
So, back to my theory:
A company that doesn’t send thank-you cards to its customers leaves a lot of profit on the table …
It’s not just the thank-you card, it’s what sending the card shows me about how you do business.
Look at it this way, when was the last time you were sent a thank-you note from a company with whom you did business?
If I’m right, it was a long time ago, if ever.
Big companies, small companies, they’re all as bad as each other. They spend a small fortune getting you to come in and buy and when they have you right where they want you, they let you get away.
Most don’t even do the basics right. But even if you get the basics right, let’s see how well you’re doing over all.
Here are my 6 steps to getting your customers buying from you again and again:
1. Collect their details – and I don’t just mean their name and number. You need to learn as much as you can about them. Preferences, birthdays and anything else that will help you turn them into a regular customer. You need to have a great database system, but no use keeping names if you don’t use the next five steps.
2. Send a thank-you card and invite them back – and do it in handwriting, even on something as simple as a postcard. It’s crazy how simple and inexpensive this is, yet so few ever do it. You can even include business cards they can give to their friends.
3. Plan future buying – This is so simple yet very rarely done. What if you sat down and thought through, or even called or met every customer and discussed their future needs. Just think of how easy it would be for a printer to remind you or even call you about the fact that you are running out of letterhead.
4. Inform your customers of your entire range – Ever had customers say, “Oh, I didn’t know you did that / sold that?” You want every customer to know everything they can buy from you. Just think of how people have insurance with several different companies, when was the last time your insurer called and asked if they could offer you a quote on all the policies you don’t have with them. You need to be more pro-active with customers.
5. Keep in Touch – Write a newsletter – with everyone going to email newsletters, maybe an old-school, printed newsletter will get the results. With so much technology, sometimes the old basics work best.
6. Special Offers – if they’re not receiving offers, carrying a VIP card, or in some way made to feel important, then you aren’t getting as much from your customers as you should be. Think of your favorite restaurant, could they send you a text every Monday with the menu specials for the week.
I’m sure you can think of dozens more ways to get your customers coming back. It’s not about ideas though, it’s about action. It’s about putting any or all of these ideas into action in your business now! If you do nothing else … at least send someone, or everyone a thank-you note …
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Rick Plasket is a licensed business coach and franchise owner of Action Coach in Newnan. He has helped business owners in the south Atlanta counties of Coweta, Fayette, Carroll, and Fulton find their untapped potential and achieve significant bottom line results.