After the Sale: Distributor Thoughts on Impressing and Keeping New Clients
Happy November everyone! Today I've pulled together some short thoughts on customer service, specifically on how to treat and keep new clients, from a few of my very kind distributor contacts. Dan Flood, owner of Profoma Five Thousand, Aurora, Ill.; Fionn Dolan, sales director for Bright Promotions, Ireland; and Bradley Pick, president and owner of Promotional Trucks LLC, Mastic, N.Y. were all nice enough to answer my questions. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find the interviews helpful!
Promo Marketing: When dealing with a new client for the very first time, what's the most important customer-service thing you do, and why?
Dan Flood: The number-one goal with a new client is trust. You have to earn your clients trust. Return their calls promptly, get samples of products at no cost to client. Make sure you walk the talk. I think If you ask the client what their number goal is and you help them achieve that, you will earn trust.
Fionn Dolan: Communication is not only the starting point for all things customer-service related, but also the most important. We understand that many new clients may have a limited knowledge about promotional merchandise: How it's of benefit, what the technical limitations are, or how branding works and how long it takes. With this in mind, we take the time to talk our clients through the processes and educate them as to what is involved.
By arming the client with this information, it allows them to make better informed decisions. This in turn makes the whole sale process much smoother for both parties, and helps lead to a stronger and longer relationship.
Bradley Pick: Ask if they are a military veteran so I can thank them for their service to our country. As a U.S. Coast Guard vet (74-78), I know how much it means to me to be recognized for what I did. Even if client is not a vet, they always have a father, mother, brother, etc. who was in the military. This sense of
"brotherhood" helps create an immediate connection with potential client.
PM: What is an interesting, creative or unconventional thing you do to please clients, and why do you do it?
DF: I have not found the magic dust that is different then what our competent competition does to please clients. The client has to know you care about them and the company they represent. There is not one thing you can do, but I do send gifts and nice sample promo products just to thank them. The promo products will also give them marketing ideas. I will always try to make their job easy by specializing in marketing. Give ideas and care about the client, it will go a long way.
FD: One of the main purposes of promotional gifts is to help generate customer delight. As a promotional gift house, it is therefore only correct that we ensure our customers experience this when dealing with us. On an ad hoc basis (so as to keep it spontaneous) we will send clients a thank-you gift after they have received their order. It may just be something as simple as a Bright Promotions branded bar of chocolate (who doesn't love sweet sweet chocolate?), or a nice pen with their name on it. Regardless of what it is, it demonstrates to our clients that we really do appreciate their business.
BP: We offer personalization for all our replicas. If you are giving out 30 tractor trailer awards at a party we will place the recipients name on the individual replicas cab doors. We do it to distinguish us from our competitors.
See you all next week!
MONDAY MIKE FACT: If the Patriots lose to the Giants one more time, I think I will actually die. Partially from shame poisoning, and partially from having to look at Eli Manning's wall-eyed muppet face for one more second than I have to.