"Marketing's Greatest Enemy"|
by Jay Conrad Levinson
You work like crazy trying to attract attention and business,
operating from a marketing calendar, committing to your strategy
and doing everything right, resulting in an influx of customers
-- but you lose them. They never come back. You did your
marketing so well and marketed so wisely that you're almost in a
state of shock at how your customers ignore you.
You treated them well while you were making your business
transactions. You gave them a fair price, knew that the quality
you put into your offering matched the quality they got out of
it. You assured them that service is your middle name. You
smiled and used their name when you said good-bye, thanking them
for the sale. And then, after all that caring attention on your
part, they completely ignored you, never set foot in your
Do you want to know why they ignored you, why it was so easy for
them to put you out of their minds?
It's because you ignored them. It's because you made the sale
and then made the grave but all-too-common error of thinking
that your marketing job was over. That was a terrible error.
But at least you've got a lot of company making the same
terrible error. Nearly 70 percent of business lost in America
is lost due to apathy after the sale. Apathy is the deadliest
enemy of marketing. A "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude is
usually fatal to profitability.
The opposite of apathy is follow-up. Guerrillas have a "love
'em and love 'em" attitude, marketing to prospects like crazy
till the sale is made, then continuing to market like crazy to
them after the sale. Apathy never sets in. Customers never
feel ignored. Guerrillas do all in their power to intensify the
relationship with caring follow-up and loving attention. They
know that once they have established a relationship, their
product or service is no longer thought of as a commodity.
Businesses that offer commodities often lose customers due to
competitors offering lower prices. Businesses that form warm
relationships transcend being thought of as a commodity and
maintain their customer relationships with service and constant
No wonder they don't lose business so readily. People want
relationships, want the businesses they patronize to stay in
contact, want to feel cared for and not ignored. All guerrillas
know that their customer relationships are their most precious
assets. They know that if customers purchased from them one
time and had an enjoyable purchase experience, they are very
likely to buy from them again. And again and again. And to
provide many referrals over time.
To nourish these kind of lasting relationships, guerrillas send
thank-you notes after the sale -- within 48 hours. They contact
customers within a month of the sale to make certain they are
satisfied and have no questions. They get in touch with
customers once again three months after the sale, this time
suggesting new items that may tie-in with the original purchase.
And three months after that, they make another contact. This
kind of guerrilla follow-up not only prevents dreaded apathy
from setting in, but also increases business anywhere from 20%
to 300%. That's because customers, in their hearts, silently
hope for recognition, acknowledgment, information, advance
opportunities to purchase, and new calls to action.
Instead of the kind of apathy that loses customers forever,
constant attention and follow-up results in healthy back-end
sales. This means repeat sales, ancillary sales and referral
sales. And this means big profits to you -- because it costs
six times more to sell something to a new prospect than to sell
that same thing to an existing customer.
These days, all the true marketing experts ask you to calculate
the lifetime value of a customer. If you don't understand the
damaging effects of apathy after the sale, that lifetime value
is pretty small, probably a few hundred dollars, if that. If
you do all in your power to prevent apathy from ever setting it,
the lifetime value of each customer may be measured in hundreds
of thousands of dollars, maybe even more. You'll profit from
the initial sale, from the repeat sales, from the referral sales
and from the long, mutually beneficial relationship. It happens
only when you defeat the most deadly enemy of marketing. And
now you know how to do that.
Jay Conrad Levinson is responsible for some of the most
effective marketing campaigns in history, and his 29 books have
been published in 39 languages.
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