I want to share an experience I had yesterday with a dry cleaners. To set the stage, I was using this company exclusively for a few years while working at my previous employer but I hadn't been there for almost 3 years now. So I stop by yesterday morning because I needed some new shirts pressed and returned pretty quickly. As was customary, I pulled up to the drive-through and was promptly greeted by the proprietor. I handed him my shirts and he went to the computer to plug in my phone number. Once he did, there was a short pause of puzzlement followed by him asking me "From Infiniti?". I replied "Yes" and he asked "Do you still work there?". When I told him that I hadn't worked there in a couple of years, he replied "Ok" with a sigh of relief as he now seemed to accept why I hadn't been there in so long. He told me what the charge would be, confirmed a pick-up time that was convenient for me, handed my the receipt and then something totally unexpected happened: he attempted to upsell me! After concluding the transaction, he said "We have some new services that we now offer since the last time you were here" and he began pitching the 4-5 additional revenue streams that had been added. I smiled in acceptance of his sales pitch before heading on with my day.
My goal with sharing this interaction is that you will see the same two lessons from our encounter that I did:
- KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS. Even if you don't, or can't, take the time to personally get to know your clients, make the best use of your CRM tool. If you don't know what a CRM is, I would recommend starting there. I'm sure he didn't remember that I worked at Infiniti but at some point in the past that information was input into their CRM.
- PROVIDE YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS/SERVICES. I was really surprised by the fact that he took the time to actually pitch me on his new services, with a brief example of how I might use each one. Be careful not to add additional products or services just for the sake of adding them. Make sure they are beneficial to your clients as well as compliment your existing business model. It is more profitable to have repeat and referral customers than it is to acquire new ones.
There are two key opportunities that were missed in this interaction as well:
- KEEP YOUR CRM UPDATED! Someone did a great job of inputting my employment information previously but he didn't ask me where I worked now so that he could update his records. He could've used that as an opportunity to find out which of his new services I would most likely use in the future.
- STAY IN CONTACT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS! If you recall from early on in the narrative, I hadn't been to his cleaners in a few years. The business made no attempt to find out why! No they didn't have my physical or email address but I still use the same telephone number that is in his CRM. Keep in mind that I was getting my clothes cleaned at least bi-monthly yet I never received a call when I stopped coming in. If nothing else, he could've used his new offerings as a reason to reach out and invite me back to his shop.
Take this opportUNITY to learn from what you've just read. If you implement these two simple steps while capitalizing on his two missed opportunities, your business will immediately experience substantial growth. Work smart and SELL, SELL, SELL!