7 Steps to Make Your Sales ‘Stick’ Article by: Joe Polish with Tim Paulson
Here’s an all-too-familiar scenario for a business owner. A customer or client purchases a product or service from you and they are excited and motivated by the purchase. But by the time they get home (or have the product or service delivered at a later time), they get “cold feet” and develop the seemingly inevitable buyer’s remorse. Whether it’s a purchase of an expensive piece of property, an automobile, or an inexpensive educational program, buyer’s remorse can happen.
Buyer’s remorse is a natural phenomenon. Buyers question their purchase and wonder, “Is this product or service really worth all that money?” “Did I really make a good decision when I decided to purchase from this particular company?”
One of the most difficult things for business owners to deal with (financially and psychologically) is when something is returned for a refund. You worked so hard to sell it in the first place; now it’s returned because the person had buyer’s remorse. OUCH!
The million-dollar question for many business owners is, “How can I eliminate (or at least greatly minimize) buyer’s remorse and refunds in my business?” The answer is clear my friend: You need to implement a “Stick Program.”
A Stick Program refers to making the sale “stick” … meaning the purchaser of your product or service actually KEEPS it.
A Stick Program can involve a single element (like a thank-you letter sent right after the sale is made) or it can be more elaborate and include several steps. Here are 7 steps to a powerful Stick Program. You can pick and choose from this list, or for maximum “STICK,” you can use them all.
STEP 1: The most effective things to do to make a sale “stick” is to quickly follow up with a letter to the purchaser as soon as the order is shipped. I send out a thank-you letter with a crisp, new ONE DOLLAR BILL attached to the top of it. The cash in the letter is a great attention “grabber,” and it forces the recipients to read the letter to find out why you sent them money. The letter indicates the dollar bill represents the first dollar the buyers have received in their relationship with Joe Polish … and that it’s just the first of MANY more to come as they implement the program they purchased.
STEP 2: Send a voice broadcast about a week after your new customers receive the product or service. In the voice broadcast (which leaves a message on their voice mail), thank them and reinforce their very good decision to purchase from you.
STEP 3: Send them another letter a week or two after the sale, this time with a bunch of testimonials in it. When they read the testimonials, their decision to purchase the program is justified in their minds (people are always looking for a way to justify past purchases), and they become “re-sold.” Keep in mind that the initial sale is NOT the only sale you need to make. You need to “re-sell” the clients after they purchase too.
STEP 4: Send them a free bonus gift after they’ve had the product for 30 days. The gift is not expensive, but it is valuable (sometimes it’s a calendar, an audio interview on CD, a book, etc.). Though not expensive, the client REALLY appreciates the unexpected gift, and it helps the original sale to STICK … and opens the door for additional sales and referrals from the same client as well.
STEP 5: Invite your new clients onto a FREE monthly teleseminar (that’s a seminar by phone). This allows the new clients to get on the phone with you and other clients from around the country, to hear some valuable message from you and your guests, and to be able to ask questions for free.
STEP 6: Send a monthly newsletter to all your new clients for at least a year. If you don’t have a newsletter, create one based on the information in your industry to further position you as the expert. This will keep you in their consciousness and position you to get additional sales and referrals.
STEP 7: The final step to a successful Stick Program is to ask your new clients for a testimonial. About two months after they make a purchase, send a letter asking them for a testimonial. When clients go through the effort to write or give you a testimonial, it reinforces the smart decision they made to purchase your products and/or services and solidifies their commitment to the past (and future) purchases from you. One powerful method is to have a “testimonial contest” in which you award the best testimonial with a valuable gift, such as an hour of telephone consulting with you for free (worth thousands of dollars if you have positioned yourself as an expert).
Your Stick Program can be even more complex than this. But even if these seven steps seem like too much for you, then use just the first one of the steps and you’ll begin to see a difference. Your company’s rate of complaints, returns, and refunds will go down, leading to a higher satisfaction rate of your clients … more testimonials … more referrals … more business … and more profit for your business! It is worth the effort!
Joe Polish and Tim Paulson. are authors of the bestselling Piranha Marketing. Learn more about Joe and Tim.