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Are You Loving and Leaving Them?
By: Mark E. Brown
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Day in and day out, companies work diligently to grab a prospect’s attention, keep their eyes glued to the multiple messages they emit and then compel them to make a buying decision. Once the prospect makes a purchase and becomes a customer, the company lets out a sigh of relief and repeating the sales cycle is the priority again. Meanwhile, the newfound customer goes on their merry way without so much as a thank you — let alone a kiss — from the ecstatic merchant. Sale made, customer lost.

This point in the relationship between customer and company is a critical one. It decides whether the customer will be a one-hit wonder or, if the company commits to growing a long-term relationship, whether that customer will mean repeat sales. The time to prove the company’s link to the customer is when they are basking in the glow of their new purchase. 

Here are some ways to recognize the customer’s buying action:
  • Try something earth-shattering — a personal note or phone call.
  • Enroll them in your social community with special status.
  • Remember them at the next point of purchase — “Great to see you again, are you enjoying the overpriced widget we sold you last time?”
  • Give gifts. Scale gifts to buy size. Remember that “free” remains the most powerful word in marketing.
  • Tenure. Companies forget, yet tenure continues to be a strong emotional tie to a brand. I have to admit that I felt a surge of pride when I compared my 1989 “member since” date on my AMEX card with my buddy and found out he is a relative newbie to the AMEX marketing ploy since he “only” joined in 1998.
Carry out an acknowledgment plan and you have created the opportunity for future communication and more importantly, sales that will continue well into the future. Getting people to make an initial buy is one thing; getting them to return is a different nut to crack.

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About the Author

Mark E. Brown is a personal branding expert, professional speaker, and business growth advisor. He has owned a number of award winning ad agencies and is the founder of Mark Brown Strategies, a communications and marketing agency. You can follow Mark on Twitter and on Linkedin.  

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