The biggest lesson that I have seen on how to increase sales comes from my cleaning service. It’s a time tested secret for increasing sales. It is…asking for it.
Here’s what I mean. My cleaning services have never been on regular schedules because I can’t keep a regular schedule. So, instead of every Friday, every X weeks, it is up to me to schedule the next appointment. Invariably, I get busy and X weeks turns into X + 3 weeks or longer (and my living area suffers for it too).
My previous cleaning services always waited for me to call to make an appointment, but not my current one. The woman who owns it calls me. That’s right, she knows when I am due and she calls several days in advance to schedule it. This gets her more of my business, because if it were up to me, I would end up putting it off and then, use the service less frequently.
If you have a services business, take the initiative and reach out to your clients to schedule their appointments. If you are a massage therapist, schedule the next visit on the spot or if the client doesn’t have his or her schedule available, follow-up in a few days to schedule the next visit. If you have a restaurant, follow-up with those who made reservations and invite them back, perhaps with a special dessert on the house. If you sell products, take a cue from Amazon.com that does auto-replenishment, or at least reach out when you think stock is getting low.
Make it as seamless as possible. The phone call is great because when you get me on the phone, I want to deal with it at the moment and I don’t have to remember to pick up the phone in the future. Email is ok, but not as immediate, as I still have an action step. If there is a link to auto-reorder or schedule an appointment in the email, that’s better than, but not as ideal as direct contact. Direct mail, while a reminder, still leaves that extra step for me, as the customer, to do.
Don’t expect that if you build it, they will come, even if they had a great experience previously. People are busy and overwhelmed, so take the time to help them buy from you more frequently.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure.