You want loyal customers that keep coming back to buy from you and bring their friends. There’s lots of talk about how to build and strengthen customer loyalty by selling value, having a unique selling proposition and being different so that you stand out. Call it what you will, but there is one proven method that actually works.
It’s called a Customer Cost Saving Program. When implemented and executed properly, it actually strengthens customer loyalty and works great for customer retention. Keeping customers is much better than losing them.
What Is a Customer Cost Saving Program
It’s really quite simple. As a salesman you should always be looking for ways to save your customer money. When you do this, they start to love you. You start building stronger bonds and customer loyalty. Do it and do it right and you will have a loyal customer for a life time.
Here’s how it works.
Like I just said, you find ways to save your customer some money.
First, just to clear the air here, I’m not talking about dropping your price just because you think it is the only way to keep the “other guys” out of your business.
When you do this, you just put the ball in the customer’s court and he can yank your chain any time he feels pressured to get a “better price”.
Look for flawed or costly processes.
Okay, let me get to the the nuts and bolts a customer cost saving program. You look for processes that are not working or ones that are costing your customer way too much money. You target them as hot spots where you can strengthen customer loyalty.
1. You find a solution that will streamline the process which will eliminate some of the costs. Forever.
2. Once you do this, you write a short report outlining what you did, with the help of the individual you were working with and include how much it will save them over a given period of time.
Let’s say you are already selling the customer a switch. But, there are always maintenance issues and replacement costs due to the misapplied part. Your job is to find a better switch for the customer’s application. One that will not have all the issues.
Even though you will be selling fewer switches this way, your customer reduces their maintenance and replacement costs. This is what you put in your customer cost saving program report.
You document it, have your customer, the individual you are working with sign it. You take it to purchasing, engineering, the business manager, the boss, in other words every person that has influence on what product and which vendors they use, and give them a copy.
Recommended reading: How to Communicate Effectively in Business
This is Why You Do It
Your competition heard about the faulty design and that the customer was unhappy with the extra costs associated with your switch. He comes calling the purchasing manager and tells her that he has the same type switch but his only costs a fraction of what yours costs.
Because you are deeply embedded in the success of your customer’s business, you hear the competition has cut the price on a “me too” switch.
You make an appointment with the purchasing manager who tells you she can get the switch at a much better price.
Quietly you smile, take your customer cost saving program report out of your briefcase. You show her how much you have already saved her by changing the design to a better switch, though it costs a bit more, the replacement and repair costs outweigh the lower price from your competition.
She agrees and dismisses the lower priced switch from your competition.
This is a classic example of just how a customer cost saving program will not only help you keep a piece of business, but it strengthens customer loyalty.
You now have a customer for life. Because you used your skills to illustrate how you have the best interest of the customer in mind, you will no longer have to worry about the “other guy”.
One other good thing, your kids get to keep eating.
Do you have a story about a customer cost saving program that you have used? If you do, share it with everyone by commenting in the box below.
Here’s an article in Entrepreneur by Brian Honigman who gives you five ways to increase customer retention that you may want to check out.
To your success with your customer cost saving program.