Loyalty – faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product. — Merriam-Webster
- Are your existing customers loyal?
- Will your existing customers buy from you again?
- Do you know the lifetime value of your customers over the last three years?
- Do you want to renew your business with currently high maintenance customers?
Six Steps to Building Client Loyalty
Customer loyalty is an integrated process of perceived and actual value delivered based on your offering and your customers’ perception of that offering. You do not arbitrary have customer loyalty because a customer bought from you once.
During pre-sale interactions with prospects, you communicate your business value. Prospects must believe your value is different from your competition for them to take an action step to buy. During the post-sales step after your first sale, prospects reconfirm the business value they were supposed to receive. If during the post-sales cycle the prospect confirms they did receive the business value communicated to them during the pre-sales cycle, then they take another action step to buy again and start a long-term relationship based on loyalty.
6 Prospect Loyalty Steps
Step 1: Pre-sales cycle; vendor meets prospect.
Step 2: Pre-sales cycle; your business value is communicated.
Step 3: Pre-sales cycle; prospect starts to believe your business value.
Step 4: Prospect buys your product or service for the first time.
Step 5: Post-sales cycle; customer confirms they received the business value as marketed.
Step 6: Post-sales cycle; customer buys a second time and starts a loyal relationship.
It seems throughout the last 15 years, most sales training methods have taught relationship sales as a means to generate business from qualified prospects. In many ways, the concept of relationship selling is the Holy Grail of salespeople.
The generally accepted business perception is that if you meet with managers, take them to lunch, play golf with them, and have them respond to your email, all of these actions have become “qualifying sales steps” in today’s sales process. As prospects respond to these inbound vendor engagements, some account managers insert this information into their CRM or contact manager believing these are completed sales steps which shorten their sales cycles. Then the prospect buys the first time and immediately salespeople believe that they have a lasting, loyal relationship.
This perception that relationship selling works for existing customers or new prospects is factually wrong.
It has been proven time and time again, customers may not buy from you a second time. Customer loyalty only happens when you prove over and over again your business value.
In sales, customer loyalty starts after the second sale.
Hunt now, or be eaten later!