Are You Going for the “Quickie Sale”or the Relationship?

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The Myth: During the holiday season, the goal of retail, online, and mail-order marketers should be to process as many sales as possible. This will help recoup some of the lost revenue due to the poor economy.
The Reality: Marketers are losing millions of dollars by going for the “quickie sale”. It’s hard to get a customer at any time of year, so when they are coming to you, driven by the holiday purchasing wave, you have the opportunity to accomplish much more than just robotically swiping their credit cards and moving on to the next transaction.
This month, millions of customers will be purchasing from an on-line, mail-order or brick-and-mortar marketer. The majority of those customers will not be engaged in any way by the sellers, who are stuck in a manufacturing model, trying to process “ holiday” transactions as quickly as possible. These blunders represent literally millions of dollars in lost opportunities to establish relationships with customers who could make multiple purchases in the future.
In a previous blog, Discounting as Addiction, we discussed the dangers of relying on discounting as the mainstay for driving customer purchases. The end result of this addiction is that the only compelling reason to visit the company’s store or web site is for another discount ”high.” This addiction by the consumer is perpetuated by the seller’s addiction to discounting, and so the cycle deepens.
Relationships based on value identified by the customer, on the other hand, carry significant long-term potential for both seller and buyer… but you can’t find out what your customer considers valuable if all you are interested in is a “quickie” transaction.
Try This:
Ask each customer if you can ask a few brief questions to help provide them with ongoing value as defined by their individual needs/interests. The types of questions you should ask are intuitive. For instance:
arrow Would they like to receive information, useful tips, or promotions regarding the product(s) they just bought?
arrow Are there other products in the store/catalog/or web site about which they would like to receive information?
arrow Any other friend or family member they would like to send this information to?
arrow And last…as a result of offering value, you have earned the right to request their email address.
Think about it. What better time to prove your value and build a powerful database than at the point of purchase? Most customers are happy to spend the extra few seconds identifying how you can better serve them in the future. And those that don’t want to spend time can choose not to.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.

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