Here’s a fact that every successful entrepreneur has learned one way or another over the years: It’s much easier to sell something to one of your existing customers than it is to sell to a brand-new one.
There are all sorts of reasons for this, but basically it boils to down to one thing: trust.
When you’ve already sold something to someone, you’ve built trust. They gave you money, and you gave them a solution to their problem. Your product, payment system, customer service, packaging, and shipping have all lived up to the hype (hopefully!) and you have a track record of delivering on your promises.
But that doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically become repeat customers. Here are the three keys to creating repeat customers from your past clients
1. Be Personal
How many soulless order confirmation emails have you gotten in your lifetime? Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, wrote something different for his budding company one day as a lark; it starts with “Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow . . .” Sivers eventually sold CD Baby for $22 million, and his simple confirmation email has become famous.
Don’t be afraid to be personal with your customers. I’m a repeat customer of the electric company, yet I don’t feel much connection to them. Let you customers see what makes you unique, not just before the sale (in an attempt to be different form the competition) but afterward, too. The first sale’s follow-up is the second sale’s opening pitch.
2. Be Present
I know it’s hard to believe, but your customers aren’t devoting nearly as much time to thinking about your business as you are. They’ve got lives of their own, and sometimes they even forget that you exist!
Let them know from time to time that you’re still around and kicking. It doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) aggressive or salesy—after all, you’ve already sold them once. A simple “We’ve got a new product you might really like!” is all it takes to let them know.
3. Be Proactive
How did they like your first product? Are they happy or dissatisfied? Has their problem been solved?
Ask these questions after the first sale—don’t just leave them out in the cold once their product is out the door. This is the difference between demonstrating that you’ll deliver a product versus demonstrating that you care about their well-being. And if you can prove that you care about their well-being, you’re most of the way to making the second sale already.